Commerce Resources Corp. has announced a mineral resource update for its upper fir tantalum and niobium deposit near Blue River, 90km south of Valemount.
The engineering firm AMEC, which completed the study, recommends a $13.9M program to support a pre-feasibility study on the Upper Fir deposit.
The latest update incorporates drilling and other exploration results to the end of 2012 for the Upper Fir Tantalum-Niobium Deposit.
This brings the company one step closer to building the mine
Company spokesperson Jenna Hardy says the tonnes and grade of the cabonatite resource are similar to those previously reported. Small changes come from improved interpretation of the mineralized carbonatite, a slightly different grade distribution in the infill drilling and the increase in the price of tantalum metal since the last mineral resource calculation was finished. She says this work has strengthened the foundation of their technical knowledge about the Upper Fir carbonatite deposit.The technical report, which describes the work in detail, is now available online at www.sedar.com.
The Canadian company hopes to develop a long-term source of conflict-free and ethical tantalum which could potentially supply 10 per cent of the world’s market for the long term. The company continues to search for a strategic financial partner. Hardy says they remain committed to the opportunity of the Blue River tantalum and niobium project, but will not be starting any of the recommended work until new sources of funding and support are secured.
Markets for Niobium and especially Tantalum have remained favourable as big sources of the much-sought minerals are limited to mines in just a handful of politically stable countries.
The Blue River deposit was discovered in 2002 and has been the focus of the Company’s activities since 2005. The composite body of mineral extends more than 1,450m in a north-south direction and as much as 800m east-west.
Tantalum has an exceedingly high melting point (about 3,000° C), is highly corrosion-resistant, alloys well with other metals, is superconductive for electricity and, most importantly, has an excellent capacity to store and release an electrical charge.
About half of the tantalum consumed each year is used in the electronics industry, mainly as powder and wire for capacitors. This allows components to be exceptionally small and they are favoured in space-sensitive high-end applications in telecommunications, data storage and implantable medical devices.
Niobium possesses properties like heat resistance, high thermal conductivity, elasticity, corrosion resistance and the ability to form a stable and adhesive layer of oxide. Niobium and its alloys are widely used in chemistry, metallurgy and electronics as well as in the medical, nuclear, and aerospace industries.