News Release: Commerce Resources Corp. Provides Update on 2012 Programs for the Blue River Tantalum-Niobium Project, Blue River, British Columbia


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Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE) provides an update on work completed at its Blue River Tantalum-Niobium Project since the release of the National Instrument 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Update for the Upper Fir Deposit. The news updates the geological, engineering, metallurgical and environmental programs carried out.

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News Release: Commerce Resources Corp. Provides Update on 2012 Programs for the Blue River Tantalum-Niobium Project, Blue River, British Columbia

  1. 1. Commerce Resources Corp. Provides Update on 2012 Programs for the Blue River Tantalum-Niobium Project, Blue River, British ColumbiaHighlights  Completion of Phase 2 metallurgical test work to optimize the use of desliming and carbonate rejection flotation, as well as chemical reagent dosages to increase the efficiency of rougher/cleaner Ta/Nb flotation and to finalize the preliminary process flow sheet developed in Phase 1 which formed the basis of the PEA.  Mineral Resource update underway at AMEC to include results of exploration in 2012, as well as 34 additional drill holes (totalling 8,715 m) of infill drilling completed in 2011.December 3, 2012 - Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H, OTCQX: CMRZF)(the “Company” or “Commerce”) is pleased to provide an update on recent work completed at itsBlue River Project since release of the National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant MineralResource update (effective date June 22, 2012 - see Commerce news release dated July 6, 2012)for the Upper Fir Deposit.The geological, engineering, metallurgical and environmental programs carried out to date in2012 broadly support the advancement of exploration and development at the Company’s whollyowned Blue River Project, east-central British Columbia. These results continue to strengthenthe foundation of broadly based technical knowledge developed in 2011, and followingcompletion of the mineral resource update currently in progress by independent consultantsAMEC Americas Ltd. (“AMEC”), will be sufficient to support the initiation of a pre-feasibilitystudy (PFS).The Blue River Property is host to the Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit, which wasdiscovered in 2002 and which has been the focus of the Company’s activities since 2005. Infiscal 2012 year to date Commerce has spent approximately $3.7M (to October 31, 2012).Metallurgical Test Work in 2012Metallurgical work in 2012 has continued to update and optimize the process flow sheetdescribed in the NI 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) studycompleted by AMEC on the Blue River Project (effective date of September 29, 2011; seeCommerce news release dated November 3, 2011). The process flow sheet for the recovery of
  2. 2. the tantalum and niobium described in the PEA was developed in 2011 based on Phase 1 studiesand is available on the corporate website at April 2012, Commerce commissioned Acme Metallurgical Ltd (“Acme Met”) of Vancouver,BC to initiate a Phase 2 investigation. This was designed to follow-up the successful results ofthe earlier program which had tested flotation as the preferred method to remove the largerportion of fine slimes and carbonatite minerals early in the process. Subsequent process stepscould then focus on material containing Ta and Nb.The objectives of the Phase 2 testing were three fold: 1). to optimize the use of desliming andcarbonate rejection flotation; 2). to optimize chemical reagent dosages to increase the efficiencyof rougher/cleaner Ta/Nb flotation; and 3). to finalize the process flow sheet developed in Phase1 which was based on composite samples BS-2F and BS 2G. All Phase 2 work was conductedon these same composites and all tests were conducted at a grind size of 80% passing 130microns.Key Areas of Investigation and Results:Desliming and Mass RemovalApproximately 50 to 55% of the mass containing only 10-15% of the Ta and Nb can be rejectedprior to Ta/Nb flotation using desliming and carbonate flotation. Reagent Na2SiO3 has beeneliminated from the desliming process while the flotation conditions in the carbonate flotationprocess have been optimized to provide sufficient carbonate mineral removal.Rougher FlotationRougher flotation of Ta/Nb has also been optimized to yield total rougher Ta/Nb recoveries of85% and 90% on composites BS-2G and BS-2F, respectively with a mass pull of 20-25% fromthe original mass being recovered into the Ta-Nb minerals rougher concentrate.In addition, effective flotation of carbonate from the BS-2F and BS-2G samples wasaccomplished using 400 and 500 g/t of Oleic Acid respectively. Na2SiO3 is added duringconditioning to target a pH of 10.5.Lastly, H2SiF6 acid is used to condition the pulp to the pH 7 while 400 g/t and 500 g/t ofDuomac T collector were used for composites BS- 2F and BS-2G respectively.Cleaner FlotationInitial cleaner flotation testing on the Ta/Nb rougher concentrate has generated promising results,showing a strong correlation between the dosage of reagent, H2SiF6, as a silicate mineralsdepressant/pH regulator, and the final Ta-Nb grade and recovery has been determined.
  3. 3. For example, if insufficient H2SiF6 is added to the cleaning process, the Ta/Nb minerals will notselectively separate from the gangue minerals, while an excessive amount of H2SiF6 can lead toa decrease in the Ta/Nb recovery.Magnetic SeparationThough additional study is required, magnetic separation of the final Ta/Nb flotation concentrateappears to show potential to further enhance the Ta/Nb grades, with approximately 50% of thefinal concentrate mass being removed with minimal Ta/Nb loss.Acme Metallurgical recommends future investigation as follows:  focused testwork on the optimization of the cleaner flotation circuit, in particular the addition of H2SiF6 addition in each of the cleaning stages;  following optimization of the cleaner circuit, locked-cycle testing to determine the impact of recycling various process streams where improved recoveries are expected; and  additional studies to verify the potential success achieved with magnetic separation including work on recoveries from magnetic tails.Results are nearing completion for Phase 3 of metallurgical investigations which considered theeffects of variable tantalum and niobium grades, mineralogy and lithological textures. This workwill be reported once results are received and reviewed.2012 Field Exploration and ResultsThe 2012 field exploration program commenced in May and was completed in late August.A structural geology review of outcrop, core and previous data refined concepts of “faults”versus “fractures” and confirmed the previously held view that most faults have lowdisplacement, likely resulting from tectonic uplift and expansions. Successful completion of anupdated structural map supports the overall development of the three dimensional structuralmodel of the Upper Fir deposit.The Company also re-logged selected diamond drill core from 2005-2009 with a particular focuson rock types, structures and carbonatite textures to ensure conformity of these aspects over time.The work provided only minor changes, but added considerable structural detail. This willincrease the level of confidence in structural model interpretation and therefore better support forthe resource block model.An independent structural geology review of 2005-2010 data was conducted to support use of thecarbonatite model in resource definition. The review verified the structural data previouslycollected and broadly supported the structural constraints in the 2011 block model, as well as thenew model which will be used in the Mineral Resource Update.
  4. 4. Key results are as follows:  isosurfaces show a south-east trend in grade continuity similar to the preferred orientation of fold hinges in the Upper Fir Deposit. These patterns were defined using the software program, Leapfrog, which analyzes grade continuity in three dimensions;  all data collected have been subject to a successful review under AMEC-defined QA/QC (quality analysis/quality control) protocols;  an updated solids model in Gemcom has been provided to AMEC to initiate the upcoming Mineral Resource Update.Upcoming Mineral Resource UpdateA Mineral Resource Update and subsequent technical report which will incorporate all data from2005 through 2012 is currently underway by AMEC with completion targeted for the firstquarter of 2013. This work will build from the previous Mineral Resource Update technicalreport (effective date June 22, 2012) in which AMEC compared results from the 34 holestotalling 8,715m drilled in 2011, after the closure of the resource database to the updatedresource model and found them to be reasonably consistent with the geology predicted by themodel.2011 PEA Outcomes and Subsequent Resource Update (July 6. 2012)The Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA) was prepared to define an overall proof ofconcept for further development of the Blue River Project. The PEA (effective date September29, 2011) indicated that the deposit can be developed economically as an underground mine andrecommended future studies to support a pre-feasibility level assessment of the project. Theassessment included geological and mineral resource modeling, preliminary mine planning, adescription of metallurgical test work and process design, a summary of environmental baselinework to date, and estimates for capital and operating costs. As well, it determined the economicsto develop the project as an underground mine with process facility, and included an estimate ofthe direct cash costs to produce tantalum contained in a technical grade oxide product.The resource on which the PEA was based considered only assay results and drilling to the endof 2009. Commerce completed additional drilling in 2010 and 2011. AMEC updated theoriginal resource model on which the PEA had been based with the data to the end of 2010drilling using a total of 237 holes comprising 50,395m of HQ diameter core and 12,736 samples.Most holes were at a nominal spacing of 50m with dips typically between -60 degrees to sub-vertical.
  5. 5. The composite body extends more than 1,450m in a north-south direction and as much as 800min an east-west direction. Tantalum and niobium are contained in the minerals ferrocolumbiteand pyrochlore. The first of what will eventually be two subsequent Mineral Resource Updatetechnical reports (effective date June 22, 2012) was released on July 6, 2012. Readers areencouraged to review both the entire PEA Technical Report and the Mineral Resource UpdateReport which are available for viewing at A link is also available on thecorporate website at“We are proud to have accomplished a significant amount of work in 2012 despite a very toughfinancing climate. We are again extremely pleased with the results of the metallurgical studywhich provides an update to testwork previously reported in the PEA, a major milestone in ourprogress to develop the Upper Fir. The improved results and 2012 exploration reported todayreinforce Commerce’s belief that we are in the process of building a very important long-termsource of conflict free and ethical tantalum which could potentially supply 10% of the currentworld’s market for the long term.” said Dave Hodge, Commerce’s President. “Results of theadditional drilling completed in 2011 and our ongoing field work in 2012 have been compiled byour geologists and supplied to AMEC to support the next resource update which will be based onall work to the end of the 2012 field season. All indications are that we will be able to enhanceeven further the quality of the resource.”“Of necessity, our previous resource update was completed based on an assumed long termpricing which may prove to be conservative. Recent developments in global tantalum andniobium markets provide indication of substantially higher prices than those used to define theresource. For example, information available through Asian Metals provides early June 2012pricing (CAD=0.9825 US) for average grade Nb205 (99.5%) of $US59-61/kg, and for averagegrade Ta205 (99.95% min) of $US483/kg. Such prices may provide an opportunity for theongoing resource update to the end of 2011 to be based on higher, though still conservative,pricing.”PropertyThe Blue River Project is located near the village of Blue River, which is approximately 250 kmnorth of the city of Kamloops and approximately 90 km south of the town of Valemount. TheProject comprises 105,373 hectares (1,000 km2) of mineral claims. Power transmission lines,rail, and paved and gravel roads are all adjacent to, or within the property boundaries. TransaltaCorp.’s 18 MW Bone Creek run-of-river hydroelectricity project near the project wascommissioned in June 2011.
  6. 6. NI 43-101 DisclosureMs. Jenna Hardy, M.Sc., P.Geo., Commerce Resources Corp., is a Qualified Person as definedby National Instrument 43-101, read and approved the disclosure of the technical information inthis news release.About Commerce Resources Corp.Commerce Resources Corp. is an exploration and development company with a particular focuson tantalum, niobium and rare metal deposits with potential for economic grades and largetonnages. The Company is specifically focused on the development of its Upper Fir Tantalumand Niobium Deposit in British Columbia and its Ashram Rare Earth Element Project in northernQuebec.For more information please visit the corporate website at http://www.commerceresources.comor contact Investor Relations at 1.866.484.2700 or Behalf of the Board of DirectorsCOMMERCE RESOURCES CORP.“David Hodge”David HodgePresident and DirectorTel: 604.484.2700Email: 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.Forward-Looking StatementsThis news release contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties andother factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-lookingstatements. Forward looking statements in this press release include that our results will be sufficient to support theinitiation of a pre-feasibility study; that we are in the process of building a very important long-term source oftantalum which could potentially supply 10% of the current world’s market for the long term; that we will be able toenhance even further the quality of the resource; and that prices for our potential products are conservativelyestimated and may trend upwards. These forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates ofmanagement and its consultants at the date the information is disseminated. They are subject to a variety of risksand uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projectedin the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition
  7. 7. include changing costs for mining and processing and their impact on the cut off value established; increased capitalcosts; changing forecasts of mine production rates; the timing and content of upcoming work programs; geologicalinterpretations based on drilling that may change with more detailed information; potential process methods andmineral recoveries assumption based on limited test work and by comparison to what are considered analogousdeposits that with further test work may not be comparable; the availability of labour, equipment and markets for theproducts produced; market pricing for the products produced; and despite the current expected viability of theproject, conditions changing such that the minerals on our property cannot be economically mined, or that therequired permits to build and operate the envisaged mine can be obtained. The forward-looking informationcontained herein is given as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise suchinformation to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.