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Index / Mining & Minerals - Evaluations / Rare Earth Exploration, Mining, Processing, Uses

12/23/2015 by mdc
The Commerce Ashram deposit is located in the Quebec Nunavik Territory and is 130 kms south of Kuujjuaq. The remote area where the project is located could be seen as a challenge as there is not a labor pool directly available around the proposed mine site, but that should not be an issue down the road as a lot of mines in the wider region have operated successfully for years. The Preliminary Economic Assessment at Ashram does include the cost of a camp and an airstrip, so the location issues are definitely being dealt with.

Additional exploration activities revealed there was a higher-value zone within the existing resource envelope which contained an enrichment in the middle and heavy rare earth oxides, as well as neodymium. This zone is also expected to form the majority of the starter-pit.

The total deposit size almost doubled with a resource updated in  with a measured resource of 1.6 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.8% TREO, indicated resource of 28 Mt at 1.98% TREO, and an inferred resource of 220 Mt at 1.88% TREO, at a 1.25% cut-off grade. And the claim that there is much more to be found at Ashram, as the mineralization remains open to the north and south as well as at depth (despite having reached a total depth of meters).

A plus for the economics at Ashram could be the removal of the cerium before sending it off to a separator. Due to the high weighing of the cerium in the concentrate and the current ultra-low cerium price ($2.00 per kilo), any REE processor will penalize Commerce for having the cerium in its concentrate (as the extraction cost will be higher than the revenue after the solvent extraction phase).

In such a case, 97% of the Ce and La would be removed from the concentrate and the value of the remaining concentrate would increase as in the first five years of the mine life, the (higher priced) praseodymium and neodymium combined would represent almost two-thirds of the concentrate without Ce and La.

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Open Resource  |  2015/12/23  |  272 Report Broken   Tell Friend

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