Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H) (the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an exploration earn-in agreement with Saville Resources Inc. on the Eldor Niobium claims wholly owned by Commerce in Quebec.
Under the exploration earn-in agreement, Saville has agreed to perform $5M CAD of work on the Eldor Niobium claims over a five year period to earn a 75% interest in the claims. Commerce Resources will receive a cash payment of $25,000 upon signing, a cash payment of $225,000 following Exchange approval, and will receive a 2% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR) on production from some of the claims, with a 1% NSR buyback for $1M CAD, and a 1% NSR on the claims that are already subject to royalties.
Prior sampling programs conducted by Commerce on these claims, which are located to the North West and South East of the Ashram Rare Earth Deposit, and including the Miranna, have returned grades as high as 5.9% Nb2O5. Of the 64 prospecting rock samples collected from the Miranna Area during the 2015 program, a total of 40 samples returned Nb2O5 grades in excess of 0.5%, with 16 in excess of 1% to a peak of 5.9% Nb2O5.
Prior mineralogical work on samples from the Southeast Area infers the niobium mineralization may be present in the well-known mineral pyrochlore, which has been commercially processed elsewhere in the world including at the Niobec Mine, which is also in Quebec.
The mineralogy of the Miranna Area samples is highly favourable. Previous mineralogical work on the carbonatite complex indicates that the niobium and tantalum mineralization present is hosted by the mineral pyrochlore, which is the dominant mineral source of niobium globally. Further, much of the pyrochlore is visible to the naked eye, thus indicating a relatively course grain size which is advantageous to metallurgical recovery.
Company President Chris Grove states “I am excited by this opportunity to see new work being done on these claims where we have formerly returned excellent grades of niobium. The global niobium market is seeing significant increased demand and I wish Saville the best in proving up what we have already started. We see joint utility in having Saville working with such proximity to the Ashram REE deposit in all regards, and especially with future plans for infrastructure. Saville’s President, Mike Hodge, is very well known and well regarded by Commerce, as he has been involved in both of our projects, beginning with the hand staking of our Blue River claims in 1999 and the first program on the Eldor in 2007. Commerce’s primary focus will remain on advancing and marketing both the Ashram REE deposit and the Blue River Tantalum and Niobium project, as it becomes more apparent that new sources of such critical commodities are urgently needed and wanted by industry and governments”.
NI 43-101 Disclosure
Darren L. Smith, M.Sc., P.Geol., Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release.
Niobium is a shiny grey, ductile metal with a chemical symbol Nb and an atomic number 41. Niobium is seeing significant increased demand from the HSLA (High Strength Low Alloy) steel market. Niobium has the ability, with a very low percentage alloy, to significantly strengthen steel. The HSLA steel market is growing at approximately 22% per annum. HSLA steel is used in bridges, buildings and in automotive chassis. Market analysts forecast the overall global niobium market to grow at a CAGR of 7.66% during the period 2017-2021.
About Commerce Resources Corp.
Commerce Resources Corp. is an exploration and development company with a particular focus on deposits of rare metals and rare earth elements. The Company is focused on the development of its Ashram Rare Earth Element Deposit in Quebec and the Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit in British Columbia.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
COMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this press release include but are not limited to the exploration earn-in agreement and any reference to work commitments. These are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include changing costs for mining and processing; increased capital costs; the timing and content of upcoming work programs; geological interpretations based on drilling that may change with more detailed information; potential process methods and mineral recoveries assumption based on limited test work and by comparison to what are considered analogous deposits that with further test work may not be comparable; the availability of labour, equipment and markets for the products produced; and despite the current expected viability of the project, conditions changing such that the minerals on our property cannot be economically mined, or that the required permits to build and operate the envisaged mine can be obtained. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.