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Commerce advances PFS for Ashram rare earths deposit in Quebec

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(Kitco News) -Commerce Resources (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H0, OTCQX: CMRZF) today provided an update on the progress of the Prefeasibility Study (PFS) for the Ashram rare earth and fluorspar deposit located in Quebec, Canada.

The company said that it has engaged several specialized engineering firms to advance the remaining key components of the PFS through to completion.

The company has retained DRA Americas and L3 Process Development for review and assessment of the Ashram Deposit's flowsheet. In addition to rare earth elements (REEs), the company also expects to recover a fluorspar by-product (met-spar and acid-spar) from the tailings of the primary REE recovery circuit.

The recovery of fluorspar was not incorporated into the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the project, completed in 2012; however, it is now anticipated to provide a significant secondary revenue stream in the PFS.

The company has also engaged the engineering firm CIMA+ to evaluate sites and design the marine infrastructure component for the PFS. The company is evaluating sites along the Koksoak River for a small marine facility to enable the shipping of materials and concentrate to and from the proposed mine-site, respectively.

The engineering firm BBA has been engaged to complete the remaining environmental studies for the PFS and will include several key individuals involved with previous data collection and analysis. BBA has also been engaged as the "Banner" engineering firm for the PFS, which includes project scheduling, tailings management and design, financial analysis, and oversight to ensure no gaps exists in the dataset required to satisfy PFS level.

The company added that to date, the PFS work completed for the Ashram project has led to significant advancements compared to PEA – shorter haul road, higher mineral concentrate grades (>40% rare earth oxide), fluorspar concentrate recovery, reduced tailings footprint, etc.

As the project continues to be de-risked and optimized, the company expects to be positioned as one of the lowest cost rare earth producers globally, with a specific focus on being a long-term supplier of mixed rare earth carbonate and/or NdPr oxide to the global market.

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