Some mining companies specialize in a certain type of mineral; others specialize in a particular business model. Commerce Resources Corp. (TSXv: CCE; U.S. OTCQX: CMRZF; FSE: D7H) has its own unique advantage – it is taking a "double barrelled" approach to mining with minerals that have been neglected for the past decade or more. This approach, coupled with a projected increase in global demand for these minerals, make Commerce Resources an interesting opportunity for investors who are looking to move beyond some of the more conventional junior mining company stories.
David Hodge, President of Commerce Resources Corp
Commerce Resources is an exploration junior with two properties. Its Blue River project in British Columbia is a Tantalum-Niobium project. Its second project is the Eldor project in northern Quebec, a rare earths project.
Recently, we spoke to David Hodge, President of Commerce Resources Corp, and he told us about their two main projects and a "double barrelled" approach they have taken to focus on neglected minerals.
"Both in the tantalum industry and the rare earth industry, exploration was discouraged for the last ten to fifteen years," said Mr. Hodge. "Rare earth exploration was discouraged by the Chinese because their desire to supply the world was driven by their desire for cash… but they are not cash hungry anymore. They had been subsidizing the rare earth market through their lower mining standards at the time in order to generate cash. But now that they have cash, they are going to use rare earth for their own people." This will cause a massive shortage in rare earths that cannot be filled immediately.
The story is the same with tantalum, as Mr. Hodge pointed out: "Similarly, in the tantalum industry, exploration has been discouraged by an oligarchy within the tantalum industry. There's not much in the pipeline."
Next, we turned our attention to Commerce Resources' two main properties. Mr. Hodge told us about the BC property, which is a tantalum-niobium project: "The Blue River project is currently going through prefeasibility process. Blue River is a significant deposit because of the tantalum content and because the global tantalum supply chain fell apart a couple of years ago. It has created a very distinct opportunity for a new player like Commerce Resources."
Next, Mr. Hodge spoke about the Quebec project, which is a rare earth project: "Our other project is the Eldor project in northern Quebec. Unlike our Blue River project, which has fabulous infrastructure, our Eldor project is a little more remote. But the size of the Eldor project easily overcomes those infrastructure challenges. It's already one of the world's largest rare earth deposits and we have two drill programs that have yet to be added to that resource calculation and it will certainly put Eldor very close to the top of the size list."
"What's really interesting is the rare earth deposits within Eldor are quite unique," Mr. Hodge continued. "Up until now, most carbonatites that have been investigated globally are usually rich in the light rare earths. But for whatever wonderful reason, Mother Nature seems to have made an exception in this part of the Eldor carbonatite complex and we have an enrichment of heavy rare earth near surface. We're just in the exploration stage and even though we're a long way off from mining this, it's a great opportunity for us."
What makes the project even more exciting is the size of the project – recent drilling outside of what was thought to be the limit of the deposit has revealed even more rare earths. "That's a strong position for a junior exploration company in rare metals and rare earths," concluded Mr. Hodge.
Up until now, shareholders have paid attention to Commerce Resources because of their tantalum project in BC. But now with the discovery of rare earths in Eldor, shareholders are starting to notice Commerce Resources for entirely new reasons. And both of these metals provide an exciting opportunity for investors to get in on the ground floor of a company whose focus is on seemingly forgotten minerals that have been neglected or discouraged for many years. Mr. Hodge explained: "As the market understands this "double-barrelled" value proposition that Commerce Resource represents today, I think they'll see a dramatic appreciation of our story."
So, why should investors pay attention to Commerce Resources?
"The development project in British Columbia, which is in the pre-feasibility stage, is one of the leading advanced, near-to-production tantalum and niobium projects in the world today," said Mr. Hodge. "And the global demand for rare earth is projected to be strong for a long, long time into the future. The size of the Eldor deposit means that the shareholders are going to benefit from that at some point; it's just a matter of time."
Each company takes a unique approach to the minerals it mines. Commerce Resources seems to have found an opportunistic place among tantalum and rare earths – two neglected but growing opportunities with plenty of long-term upside.
Commerce Resources Corp.
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