Standard Graphite Explores Quebec and Ontario Properties
By Greg Klein
With today’s announcement of the Mousseau East acquisition in western Quebec, Standard Graphite TSXV:SGH marks yet another graphite property, all in the carbon-rich Grenville geological subprovince. But apart from piling up projects, the news marks an important step for the company’s experienced graphite team. “Mousseau is a developmental asset,” says President/CEO Chris Bogart. “So it takes Standard Graphite from being an exploration company into the developmental stage.”
Having the benefit of significant historic work, Mousseau now takes top spot as Standard’s flagship operation. A 1992 non-43-101 resource estimate by Graphicor Resources showed 598,480 tonnes grading 8.29% carbon proven, 219,450 tonnes grading 8.13% probable and 288,760 tonnes grading 7.85% possible.
“Obviously we’re excited about that,” Bogart says. “We like the numbers. The grade was exceptional. The mining scenario is excellent…. It opens up a lot of opportunities.”
Work will begin with analysis of historic data prior to exploration. Bogart emphasizes, however, that the company has its sights set higher. “We plan to expand the resource as well.”
Mousseau has road access to Highway 117, 12 kilometres away, and lies within 50 kilometres of Timcal Graphite & Carbon’s Lac-des-Îles Mine, the largest of North America’s two flake graphite mines.
The company’s been busy elsewhere too. Just last week, Standard finished a 3,310-line-kilometre airborne electromagnetic survey over its entire domains, most of which have noteworthy neighbours. Three properties sit just within the Labrador Trough in northeast Quebec, six in southwest Quebec, three more in southeast Ontario and a straggler near the deep-sea port of Sept-Îles, Quebec.
“The results will be coming,” says Bogart. “We’ve already started ground work on our Ontario properties. As the snow melts, we’ll do the mapping, sampling and trenching for all the properties. Once that’s complete, we’ll rank our properties according to the results. And then we’ll start developing those and moving towards drill targets for the summer.”
Of the Ontario projects, Bogart points to Little Bryan and Black Donald as standouts that also enjoy excellent infrastructure. The 9,000-hectare Black Donald Property surrounds a former mine that produced both amorphous and flake graphite from 1896 to 1954. Amorphous graphite is the type employed in steelmaking, as well as auto clutches and brake linings, sports equipment and other uses. The more expensive flake graphite is the type associated with emerging needs: lithium-ion batteries, vanadium redox batteries, pebble-bed nuclear reactors, solar panels and fuel cells associated with energy storage, generation and efficiency. Graphite’s unique qualities as an extremely light, strong, heat-resistant and conductive material open up a host of present uses and future possibilities.
Going back to mid-century, the Black Donald Mine’s final 10 years of operation reportedly produced grades between 25% and 30% carbon. In its time, it was “one of the highest-grade producing projects in the world,” Bogart says. The company reports its EM survey found two long, well-defined conductors, possibly indicating mineralization that replicates the former mine’s trend. “That tells us that geological area is amenable to graphite occurrences over large stretches of ground. There’s definitely the potential for a lookalike mine.”
Groundwork has already begun there and on the 2,800-hectare Little Bryan, where exploration will follow up on 1989 trenching and a recently found five-kilometre near-surface conductive trend. Along with Standard’s B Lyall Property, Little Bryan and Black Donald share proximity to Northern Graphite’s TSXV:NGC Bissett Creek large-flake graphite project as well as Ontario Graphite’s Kearney Mine, scheduled to resume production in 3Q this year.
Carheil, one of the northeast Quebec properties, also looks promising. EM results suggest four conductors with strike lengths of up to six kilometres. The 3,885-hectare property lies about 10 kilometres from Focus Metals’ TSXV:FMS high-grade, large-flake Lac Knife Project. Spring thaw cooperating, groundwork should begin about mid-May to be followed by summer drilling.
“Carheil has a power line and a road running right through the property, so we’ve got great infrastructure considering where it’s at,” Bogart says. “It’s a big mining camp.” Standard’s nearby Sandy Lake and Sandy Lake NE are also prospective targets.
The company has properties galore, but Bogart emphasizes that Standard’s team plays a crucial role. “We’re the only exploration company that I’m aware of in Canada that has a graphite exploration geologist and a graphite executive with sales, marketing and operations experience. So we can not only discover, identify, evaluate and graduate a project, but we also have a team that can take it to production.”
We can not only discover, identify, evaluate and graduate a project, but we also have a team that can take it to production —Chris Bogart
Chief Geologist Antoine Fournier’s 20 years of experience includes his role in the discovery of the Lac Knife Deposit. Senior VP Business Development Benoit Gascon was President of Stratmin Graphite, past owner of Lac-des-Îles. While there, he negotiated Stratmin’s takeover to form Timcal, where he remained in senior roles.
The importance of a graphite geologist like Fournier is clear enough. Gascon brings an additional advantage. “In industrial minerals, sales and marketing are of absolute cornerstone importance,” Bogart explains. “So we’re well suited to advance those projects.” Bogart himself was co-founder of Magnum Uranium, a TSXV company which was bought out by TSX-listed Energy Fuels.
Bogart will address OnPage Media’s May 2 Graphite Express-Conference in Toronto. “I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “I always love telling the story to new people.”
He concludes, “Any investor should lean heavily on management’s expertise and track record. Ours is quite substantial. It’s a great management team that’s had a lot of success in this sector…. We’ve been doing well. We’ve had good results, we’re providing value.”
At press time, Standard Graphite had 24.1 million shares outstanding at $0.49 for a market cap of $11.83 million.
Disclaimer: Standard Graphite Corp is a client of OnPage Media, and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Standard Graphite.