Canadian company Commerce Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to integrate feedstock from its Ashram project in Quebec with Ucore Rare Metals’ rare earth separation facility and strategic metals complex (SMC).

Pursuant to the MoU, Commerce will provide mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate mined from the Ashram deposit to perform bench and pilot-scale testing of the metallurgy and metals separation metrics of the prospective feedstock.

Ucore Rare Metals president and CEO Jim McKenzie said: “Commerce has undertaken extensive research and testing resulting in a high-quality and high-grade mineral concentrate that will allow for cost-effective processing to our ideal feedstock, and therefore, looks to be a very promising candidate for processing via an MRT separation circuit.

"The Ashram Deposit is large tonnage, good grade, hosts a well-balanced rare earth elements (REE) distribution with an enrichment in the magnet feed REEs, and perhaps most importantly, is highly accessible."

"It looks to be a very promising candidate for processing via an MRT separation circuit."

US-based IBC Advanced Technologies will carry out the bench work to complete an assessment of the suitability of the Ashram concentrate as potential feedstock for the SMC. 

A sample of mixed rare earth carbonate concentrate will be sent to Ucore’s SuperLig test facility in Utah, US.

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Commerce is in the advanced stage of metallurgical testing and flowsheet design for the production of the Ashram concentrate.

Ucore is currently engaged in the detailed engineering and planning of the SMC rare earth separation facility.

Being designed and engineered as a modular facility, the SMC is expected to accept feedstock from varying supply sources and concentrates.