Commerce Resources Corp. Completes 2011 Exploration Program at Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit, Blue River, British Columbia

Commerce Resources Corp. Completes 2011 Exploration Program at Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit, Blue River, British Columbia


  • 2011 fieldwork included approximately 8,715 metres in a 34 drill-hole definition drilling program which was targeted to improve understanding of geological and structural relationships within the Upper Fir deposit.
  • 2010 drilling results (54 holes; 12,949 metres) are currently being compiled for inclusion in an updated three dimensional block model and resource estimate which will itself form a separate resource update anticipated by second quarter 2012.
  • Results of exploration to the end of 2010 will be described in a technical report currently in preparation under the direction of AMEC which will provide the next milestone in the evaluation of the Upper Fir deposit.
  • Assay results from the 2011 holes remain outstanding and will be compiled for inclusion into a separate resource update.

Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE, FSE: D7H) (the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on its recently completed exploration and development activities for the Company’s wholly owned Blue River Project, east-central British Columbia. The Blue River Property is host to the Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit, which was discovered in 2002, and which has been the principal focus of the Company’s work in British Columbia since 2005.

Exploration in 2011 included 8,715m of HQ-diameter diamond drilling in 34 holes largely for purposes of infilling geological and structural information within the Upper Fir deposit. Additional field work included core logging, assaying, down-hole geophysics, specific gravity measurements and comprehensive re-logging of core from previous years, as well as geological and structural mapping to test the evolving structural model. Incoming results will be compiled for eventual inclusion into an updated resource model.

On November 3, 2011, the Company announced completion of a positive National Instrument 43-101 compliant Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) for the Upper Fir Tantalum-Niobium Deposit. The PEA prepared by independent consultants, AMEC Americas Limited (AMEC), indicates that the deposit can be developed economically as an underground mine and recommends further studies to support a pre-feasibility level assessment of the project. AMEC is a leading international consulting, engineering and project management company. A technical report by AMEC entitled Preliminary Economic Assessment Blue River Tantalum-Niobium project dated September 29, 2011, and announced on November 3, 2011, is now available on SEDAR (http://www.sedar.com).

The economic evaluation of the PEA is based on a mineral resource estimate with the effective date of September 29, 2011, which incorporates drilling and structural data developed from the project to the end of 2010, including detailed solids modeling and preliminary metallurgical and process flow sheet designs, but is based only on assay data to the end of 2009 drilling totaling 183 holes comprising 37,446 metres of HQ drill core.

The table below summarizes drilling completed in prior years:

Summary of Upper Fir Drilling 2009-2011

Core SizeMetres
2005 -2009HQ37,446183Basis for resource used in PEA
2010HQ12,94954Assays in hand: Basis for resource update estimated 2Q 2012
2011HQ8,71534Assays pending: Basis for subsequent resource update (post 2Q 2012)

Drilling completed in 2011 should be considered largely as infill within the Upper Fir Deposit but also explored known extensions of the deposit at its north end. The infill drilling was designed to determine geological and structural relationships, and improve understanding of the resources previously announced on February 2, 2011, which considered only drilling to the end of 2009. As recommended by AMEC, the 2011 exploration was also completed in anticipation of pre-feasibility requirements.

An updated block model and resource estimate with accompanying technical report under the supervision of AMEC is currently underway using mapping and drill data from the 2010 campaign.

To avoid an undue delaying in completing this resource update while the assays and other data from 2011 are being processed, the new data from 2011 are to be included in a second and subsequent technical report which provides a second upcoming milestone for the Blue River Project. Work on this technical report will begin as soon as results are received.

Other Work Completed and Ongoing in 2011
Metallurgical test work including the engineering for pilot plant design is being coordinated by Acme Metallurgical with a view to optimizing the process design used in the PEA. Environmental baseline investigations, including water quality, hydrology and vegetation studies, which commenced in 2006, are continuing; contributing to the ongoing environmental assessment. Additional geotechnical engineering is also underway.

The Blue River Project is wholly owned by Commerce and encompasses 105,373 hectares (about 1,050 km2). Power transmission lines, rail, and paved and gravel roads are all adjacent or within the property boundaries. Transalta Corp.’s 18 MW Bone Creek run-of-river hydroelectricity project was recently completed near the project and began production in April 2011.

The Upper Fir deposit is one of over 25 carbonatite occurrences on the project. Indicated mineral resources total 36.35 million tonnes containing 195 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,700 ppm Nb2O5 and Inferred mineral resources total 6.40 million tonnes containing 199 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,890 ppm Nb2O5. The mineral resource estimate is supported by a base case price assumption of US$317/kg Ta metal in an oxide product and $US46/kg niobium metal in an oxide product.

Sufficient working capital is available to complete all of the Company’s development and exploration plans for Blue River.

New Appointment to Board of Directors
Commerce Resources is pleased to announce the appointment of Jenna Hardy to the Board of Directors. Jenna Hardy, M.Sc, MBA, P.Geo. has over 25 years of exploration and mining industry experience in Canada, United States, Mexico and South America, and was involved in re-opening, greening and expansion of large-scale historic operations at Quiruvilca and Huaron Mines in Peru and at the Cozamin and La Colorada Mines in Mexico. From 1996 to 2004, she served as the Manager of Health Safety Environment with Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ: PAAS, TSX: PAA) where she was responsible for corporate oversight of health, safety and environmental issues at operating subsidiaries in Peru, Mexico and Bolivia, as well as development projects in Argentina, Canada and the USA. Since 2006, she has acted as Manager Environmental Regulatory and Technical Services for the Company’s Blue River Tantalum & Niobium Project.

As a professional geoscientist, Ms. Hardy has been involved in corporate development, regulatory and permitting issues, implementation and monitoring of environmental action plans and procedures, as well as environmental impact assessment, and project coordination for teams involved in feasibility level assessments.

NI 43-101 Disclosure
The technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by John Gorham, P.Geo, who is a Qualified Person in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

About Commerce Resources Corp.
Commerce Resources Corp. is an exploration and development company with a particular focus on tantalum, niobium and rare earth element deposits with a potential for economic grades and large tonnages. The Company is specifically focused on the development of its Upper Fir Tantalum and Niobium Deposit in British Columbia and is also exploring its Eldor Project in northern Quebec (see news release dated October 19, 2011).

For more information please visit the corporate website at https://commerceresources.com or contact Investor Relations at 1.866.484.2700 or info@commerceresources.com.

On Behalf of the Board of Directors

David Hodge
President and Director
Tel: 604 484 2700
TF: 866.484.2700
Email: info@commerceresources.com
Web: https://commerceresources.com

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.

Statements in this document which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements, including any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Forward looking statements in this news release include that the Company is specifically focused on the development of its Upper Fir tantalum and niobium deposit in British Columbia, Canada and is also exploring its Eldor Project in northern Quebec.

It is important to note that actual outcomes and the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include economic, competitive, governmental, environmental and technological factors that may affect the Company’s operations, markets, products and prices. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially may include misinterpretation of data; that we may not be able to get equipment or labour as we need it; that we may not be able to raise sufficient funds to complete our intended exploration and development; that our applications to drill may be denied; that weather, logistical problems or hazards may prevent us from exploration; that equipment may not work as well as expected; that analysis of data may not be possible accurately and at depth; that results which we or others have found in any particular location are not necessarily indicative of larger areas of our properties; that we may not complete environmental programs in a timely manner or at all; that market prices for tantalum & niobium may not justify commercial production costs; and that despite encouraging data there may be no commercially exploitable mineralization on our properties.

Readers should refer to the risk disclosures outlined in the Company’s Management Discussion & Analysis of its audited financial statements filed with the British Columbia Securities Commission.

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