BRITISH COLUMBIA – Commerce Resources of Vancouver says the results of the preliminary economic assessment for its Upper Fir tantalum-niobium deposit are positive. The property is located near the village of Blue River, approximately 250 km north of Kamloops. The PEA was prepared by AMEC Americas.
The report puts the preproduction capital expenditure at $379 million, including contingency and indirect/owner costs. Average cost per tonne milled will be $38.44. The cost per kilogram of payable tantalum after niobium credits is expected to be $24.91.
The Upper Fir deposit is composed of a series of carbonatite sills with a cumulative true thickness of 92.1 metres. The mineralization extends more than 1,400 metres in a north-south direction and up to 800 metres in an east-west direction. The 43-101 estimate of indicated resources is 36.4 million tonnes grading 195 ppm Ta2O5 and 1,700 ppm Nb2O5. The inferred resource is 6.4 million tonnes with slightly higher grades.
Commerce expects that an underground mine will provide feed for a 7,500-t/d mill. Standard grinding and flotation will produce a bulk concentrate that will be further treated to produce technical grade oxides of tantalum and niobium totalling 2,400 tonnes and 18,600 tonnes, respectively, over a 10-year mine life.
Learn more about the uses of tantalum and niobium at www.CommerceResources.com.