Commerce Resources (CCE.V) has now completed its drill program at the Ashram rare earth deposit in Québec, where it has drilled 14 holes for a total of approximately 2,000 meters. This drill program has been focusing on the Northern, Western and Southern parts of Ashram, and the preliminary reviews (based on portable XRF data) of the data seem to indicate ‘significant mineralization’ is still present over ‘appreciable widths’ in several holes.
On top of this drill program, the company’s summer exploration program consisted of two other components as it commenced hydrogeological testwork and continued to collect data for its environmental baseline study. This has now been completed after taking surface water samples from several nearby lakes and the zone where the tailings facility will be built.
As both the drilling and the environmental baseline program have now been completed, the current field activities at Ashram now consist of the hydrogeological program, where the first phase (installing monitoring equipment) has now been completed. The second phase will very likely start next week, and will consist of a pump test to evaluate the sub-surface water flow.
Commerce is making good progress at Ashram, but keep in mind the company has more irons in the fire and it has now also completed a sampling program on the Eldor property in Québec, which yielded assay results of up to 5.9% Nb2O5. This sample was taken from the so-called Miranna area (just one kilometer east of Ashram), where the company was following up on the niobium-tantalum-phosphate potential.
64 samples have been taken by the company, and 40 of those have returned Niobium values of in excess of 0.5% Nb2O5, of which 16 returned values of in excess of 1%.
As the Miranna zone is extremely close to Ashram and its planned open pit, there could be a lot of synergy advantages that could make the development of Miranna worthwile, as the infrastructure expenses will already have been incurred by Commerce when it plans to develop Ashram. Of course, a lot more work needs to be done, and it will be very important to see if a drill program can confirm the existence of a wide-spread Niobium-Tantalum-Phosphate zone.