Amseco pursues Gold and Graphite in Quebec and Ontario
By Greg Klein
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Ask Jean Desmarais to name Amseco Exploration’s TSXV:AEL flagship and the President/CEO replies, “Man, that’s a good question. That’s a very good question. I would say that I have a few of them.” His answer reflects not a lack of focus but rather an abundance of gold and graphite properties in Quebec and Ontario.
Just last month, the company announced a 1,500-metre drill campaign on its Cookie Monster Gold Project, a 50/50 JV with Vantex Resources TSXV:VAX. Located in the prolific Fancamp deformation corridor of north Quebec’s Chapais-Chibougameau region, the 1,445-hectare property’s neighbours include the Monster Lake Project. Last August, while undergoing drilling by Stellar Pacific TSXV:SPX, the property showed results up to 76.53 grams per tonne gold over 2 metres. Then, on April 11, Monster Lake’s current owner, TomaGold TSXV:LOT, hit an intersection of 237.6 g/t gold over 5.7 metres. “Unfreaking believable,” exclaims Desmarais. “The whole region should boom, and I have a property right there.”
Clearly, Amseco will not abandon gold for graphite, even though the company recently picked up its second set of graphite acquisitions. In March, the company got a 100% interest in the 469-claim, 25,362-hectare Tetepisca properties. The carbon-rich region is accessible by Highway 389 and logging roads, about 25 kilometres from north Quebec’s Manic-Cinq hydroelectric dam and 215 kilometres from the deep-sea port of Baie-Comeau. Other companies in the region include Cliffs Natural Resources CLF, Focus Metals TSXV:FMS and St-Georges Platinum CNX:SX.
“It happens to be a region I know quite well because the First Nations are great friends of mine,” Desmarais explains. “As their mining expert, I represent them in their conflict with the government.”
Amseco had teamed up with St-Georges only two weeks earlier for a 50/50 JV on two packages containing 10,110 hectares of graphite prospects. The Tetepisca West, Canadian Goose and Wooden Lake properties lie in the same region as Tetepisca proper. The Southern Properties consist of the Pike River, Lake 222 and the Polynesian Lake graphite properties, about 120 kilometres from Baie-Comeau. The properties were acquired by staking government lands, thereby avoiding dilution to existing shareholders.
Although graphite stock prices have pulled back since their April highs, Desmarais remains confident about the long-term potential. “I think the next decade will belong to graphite,” he says. “I don’t think it’s just a uranium or lithium play; I think it’s a long-term investment.” The carbon allotrope is currently used primarily in the steelmaking industry but future projections tie it to increasing demand in such energy technologies as fuel cells, solar panels, pebble-bed nuclear reactors, vanadium-redox batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Even discounting next-generation projections, cutbacks in exports from China—which produces about 80% of world supply—will require new mines to open elsewhere.
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