BRITISH COLUMBIA – Vancouver-based COMMERCE RESOURCES says that floating the gravity concentrate from its Blue River tantalum/niobium project doubles the grade to 58% Nb2O5. The results were obtained during tests conducted by SGS LAKEFIELD on samples from Commerce’s Blue River project in southeastern British Columbia.
Commerce is exploring the western end of the Verity Carbonatite Sill where an inferred resource of 3.06 million tonnes grading 196 g/t Ta2O5, 646 g/t Nb2O5 and 3.20% P2O5 was previously estimated for the Verity deposit. The nearby Fir deposit has indicated and inferred resources of approximately 12.39 million tonnes at 203.1 g/t Ta2O5 and 1,047 g/t Nb2O5. The company maintains its website at www.CommerceResources.com.
SGS Lakefield will continue to test Blue River samples and upgraded concentrates for their amenability to acid leaching. Total tantalum and niobium extraction rates of over 99% have already been obtained.
Currently the only niobium producer in Canada is CAMBIOR’s Niobec mine in Quebec. It makes pyrochlore concentrate, which is then transformed to ferroniobium (65% Nb) in an aluminothermic converter.