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Graphite Digest — May 25, 2012

May 25th, 2012

May 25, 2012

Industrial Minerals reports 12% Drop in Graphite Prices

Natural graphite prices have fallen for the first time since March 2009, according to a May 23 Industrial Minerals article by Simon Moores. Large-flake graphite of +80 mesh grading 94% to 97% carbon fluctuated between $2,500 and $2,700 a tonne during 18 months of strong demand. Now prices have fallen as much as 12%, to between $2,200 to $2,700 per tonne. The smaller flake of -100 mesh, grading 94% to 97% C, fell by $100 to the $1,900-to-$2,300 range.

Slowing economies in China and Europe caused the decline, observers say. Moores reports that traders in the European market point to an industrial slowdown in the continent’s biggest consumer, Germany. Graphite demand is closely tied to the steel industry, which suffers from economic uncertainty, particularly in Eurozone countries, he writes.

Nevertheless a past-producing German graphite mine will reopen on June 21, according to a May 24 Industrial Minerals article by Jessica Roberts. Graphit Kropfmühl projects eventual production of 5,000 tonnes a year at its Kropfmühl Mine.

Watch excerpts from Simon Moores’ presentation at the Toronto Graphite-Express Conference.

Focus Metals now Focus Graphite

Effective May 25 Focus Metals Inc began trading as Focus Graphite Inc TSXV:FMS. The stock symbol remains the same. The new name was approved by shareholders on May 3 and formally announced May 24. The company describes its flagship Lac Knife Property in northeast Quebec as the world’s highest-grade technology graphite resource.

Lac Knife’s PEA is scheduled for release June 7. In cooperation with L’institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec, Focus plans to open a production facility for battery-grade spherical graphite by the end of 2013, producing about 10,000 tonnes of 95% material for the first 12 months. The goal for 2015 is 15,000 tonnes. Focus also holds a 40% interest in Grafoid Inc, a JV created to find proprietary methods of manufacturing graphene using unprocessed graphite ore from Lac Knife.

Read more about the Hydro-Québec agreement and an interview with Focus President/CEO Gary Economo.

Read an interview about Focus’ Kwyjibo REE-Copper Project.

Read a feature story about Focus Metals.

Zenyatta reports North Ontario Graphite Assays of 6.6% C over 170m

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd TSXV:ZEN announced May 24 assays from its Albany Graphite Deposit in north Ontario. Results show

  • 6.6% carbon over 170 metres
    (including 6.5% over 88 metres)
    (and including 7.1% over 76 metres)

Individual samples assayed as high as 13.1%. Results are pending for another hole collared at the same location but drilled in the opposite direction. The collar is 450 metres from the project’s original discovery hole, which intersected eight separate and extensive breccia zones. Albany is 30 kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway, a powerline and natural gas pipeline, 70 kilometres from rail and about five kilometres from an all-weather road.

Read a feature story about Zenyatta Ventures.

Energizer, Malagasy report Madagascar Graphite Results of 8.44% C over 106m, select Molo Deposit for Production, announce Appointments

Energizer Resources Inc TSX:EGZ and Malagasy Minerals Ltd announced May 24 assays from the Molo Graphite Deposit of their Joint Venture Property in south Madagascar. Results show

  • 8.44% carbon over 106 metres(including 11.17% over 37 metres)
  • 7.25% over 27 metres
  • 5.42% over 41 metres
  • 5.77% over 28.6 metres

Energizer holds a 75% interest and acts as project operator on the Joint Venture Property, which surrounds Energizer‘s wholly owned Green Giant Graphite-Vanadium Property on three sides.

Following airborne surveys, ground geophysics, mapping, trenching and 29 drill holes on a number of potential graphite deposits, Energizer chose the JV Property’s Molo Deposit for a graphite-resource estimate and to begin open-pit mine construction with production targeted for 2014 or 2015. The company’s evaluation includes metallurgical analysis, which confirms that jumbo-flake (+50 mesh) graphite at an average purity of 93% C can be liberated through simple crushing of graphite.

Energizer also announced the appointment of Albert A Thiess Jr as Director and Chair of Capital Projects and Mine Development Committee. Thiess brings over 35 years of accounting, finance and management experience to the company. Also appointed to the committee is Peter D. Liabotis, a chartered accountant with over 15 years experience.

Read an interview with Energizer Resources VP Business Development Brent Nykoliation.

Read feature stories about Energizer Resources’ vanadium deposit and its graphite deposits.

Uragold seeks Shareholder Approval for Reverse Stock Split

Uragold Bay Resources Inc TSXV:UBR announced May 24 that its directors propose to consolidate issued and outstanding common shares. Under the resolution, every four existing common shares would be consolidated into one new common share. The resolution will be submitted to shareholders at the June 19 AGM and is subject to TSXV approval. The resolution would allow, but not compel, the board to consolidate stock up to nine months after shareholder approval. The board’s decision will be based on market conditions. The company stated that consolidation would enhance the its liquidity, share marketability and shareholder profitability.

Uragold holds gold properties in south Quebec’s Appalachian belt and the Asbury Graphite Property in southwest Quebec. The properties have extensive historic exploration and well-established infrastructure. Uragold‘s business model focuses on developing a series of potential small-scale low-cost mining operations for potential cashflow while exploring other properties.

Graphite One drops Alaska Gold Project, begins Graphite Exploration

Graphite One Resources Inc TSXV:GPH announced May 24 it has relinquished its option on the Kelly Creek Gold Property in Alaska. The company will instead focus on its 3,108-hectare Graphite Creek Property, 65 kilometres north of Nome on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula.

The company has begun a helicopter-borne TDEM survey comprising both magnetics and electromagnetics of approximately 690 line-kilometres flown at 50-metre-spaced lines. The $4.5-million program will consist of prospecting, geological mapping, sampling and drilling along conductors delineated from the survey and previously defined graphite-bearing schist. The goal is to move the project towards a resource estimate. Graphite Creek is three kilometres from intertidal waters at Windy Cove, approximately 20 kilometres from roads and three kilometres from an airstrip.

Flinders reports Sweden Graphite Results including 11.8% C over 13.6m

Flinders Resources Ltd TSXV:FDR announced May 24 assays from its Kringel Deposit in east-central Sweden. Highlights include

  • 11.8% carbon over 13.6 metres
  • 7.6% over 18.3 metres
  • 7.9% over 15.8 metres
  • 8.9% over 14 metres
  • 8.2% over 14.3 metres
  • 7.6% over 15.3 metres
  • 9.5% over 11.3 metres
  • 7.6% over 12.6 metres

The Kringel Mine operated from 1996 to 2001, when production stopped due to falling graphite prices. The project has been on care and maintenance since. The Kringel Graphite Project has an historic, non-43-101 resource estimate of 6.9 million tonnes grading 8.8% in four separate deposits. The mine site has a non-43-101 estimate of 1.3 million tonnes grading 11.3%. Flinders intends to bring historic resource estimates into 43-101 compliance and test for extensions of the deposit below 50 metres and along strike. The resource estimates are scheduled for completion around the end of July.

Bolero appoints Paul Ogilvie CEO, grants Options, announces Intention to change Name

Bolero Resources Corp TSXV:BRU announced May 23 the appointment of Paul Ogilvie as CEO. R. Bruce Duncan has resigned as President/CEO and has been appointed Executive Chairman. Ogilvie has been granted one million options at $0.20 per share, which are subject to vesting over a six-month period and exercisable for five years. In 2007, he led a private investment group in the redevelopment of Industrial Minerals Inc, now known as Northern Graphite Corp TSXV:NGC. Starting in 2009, Ogilvie served as CEO/Director/Founder of MEGA Graphite Inc. The company also announced its intention to change its name to Canada Carbon Inc. (Update: On October 5, 2012, Bolero Resources Corp began trading as Canada Carbon Inc TSXV:CCB.)

Bolero‘s Maria Graphite Claims cover approximately 2,000 hectares in east Ontario, 17 kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway and completely surrounding Northern Graphite‘s Bissett Creek Deposit. The company plans to begin work shortly.

Lomiko announces Drill Program, Resource Estimate Target Date

Lomiko Metals Inc TSXV:LMR announced May 22 a drill program of up to 70 holes on its Quatre Milles Graphite Property in south Quebec. Drilling will focus on verifying the areas of historic, non-43-101 high-grade results reported by Graphicor Resources. Lomiko plans to complete Phase I and II, followed by a flake-graphite resource estimate, by December.

The company’s 1,600-hectare Quatre Milles Property and 2,180-hectare Quatre Milles West Property are approximately one hour’s drive from the mining centre of Val-d’Or and 26 kilometres by paved road from the Trans-Canada Highway. Lomiko also has a zinc discovery on its 5,407-hectare Vines Lake Property in the Cassiar Gold Camp in the Liard Mining District of northwest BC. Further exploration is planned for this summer. The property has year-round paved road access via Highway 37N.

Read a feature story about Lomiko Metals.

Berkwood options Quebec Graphite Property

Berkwood Resources Ltd TSXV:BKR announced May 22 an option to earn a 100% interest in the Lac Gueret East Graphite Property in north-central Quebec. Under the agreement, Berkwood pays three prospectors a total of $25,000 on signing, $35,000 and 750,000 units (consisting of one share and one warrant exercisable for 24 months at $0.15) within seven days of TSXV approval, $75,000 and 500,000 shares six months after TSXV approval, $75,000 and 375,000 shares 12 months after TSXV approval and $75,000 and 375,000 shares 18 months after TSXV approval. The vendors share a 2% NSR, half of which Berkwood may buy for $1,000,000.

The 3,186-hectare property borders the eastern boundary of Mason Graphite’s Lac Gueret Property, about three hours by road from the deep-sea port of Baie-Comeau. Graphite in the area is present in marbles and in contact with or within paragneisses and ranges from 3% to 40% carbon, with flakes up to 5 mm in diameter, Berkwood stated. The company’s program includes compilation of historic work, an airborne electromagnetic survey, surface follow-up, stripping, trenching and drilling.

Disclaimer: Focus Graphite Inc and Lomiko Metals Inc are clients of OnPage Media, and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in those companies.

By Greg Klein

Read previous Graphite Digests here

Graphite Digest — May 18, 2012

May 18th, 2012

May 18, 2012

Pinestar declines Option to acquire Australia Graphite Properties

Pinestar Gold Inc TSXV:PNS announced May 18 it will not exercise its option to acquire 11 graphite properties in four Australian states. The option with Zimtu Capital Corp TSXV:ZC and Strategic Resource Management Pty Ltd was announced March 1.

Rainbow stakes BC Graphite Prospects

Rainbow Resources Inc TSXV:RBW announced May 17 acquisition of graphite prospects in southwest BC. The company has staked two claim blocks covering over 40 square kilometres west and southwest of its flagship Big Strike Gold-Silver Project in the Slocan Mining District. The 2,100-hectare Claim Block #1 lies immediately north of Anglo Swiss Resources’ TSXV:ASW Blu Starr Graphite Property and 14 kilometres from Eagle Graphite’s mine, one of North America’s two flake-graphite producers. The 2,100-hectare Claim Block #2 is contiguous to Blu Starr’s southern boundary.

Rainbow holds historic airborne survey information for its graphite claims, which the company has begun prospecting. Rainbow also plans to drill Big Strike’s Gold Viking area.

Arrowhead finds Quebec Graphite Mineralization

Arrowhead Gold Corp TSXV:AWH announced May 17 a graphite find on its Gateau Property in the Chibougamau Mining District of north-central Quebec. A review of drilling completed in 2008 found one hole with 48 metres of coarse-grained graphite mineralization. The graphite horizon is within a basalt unit just below a contact with a quartzite unit, the company stated. A 2011 airborne survey outlined a 7.5-kilometre-long east-west electromagnetic conductor that coincides with and appears to be caused by the graphite horizon. The survey found up to five other conductive horizons that may also be related to graphite mineralization. The 2008 drilling was intended to test a uranium target so carbon content wasn’t measured at the time. The core is still on the property.

Arrowhead plans to have a crew re-examine the graphite horizon and prospect the EM conductors for graphite. The 3,975-hectare Gateau Property is approximately 240 kilometres northeast of the town of Chibougamau.

Uranium North reports Nunavut Graphite Samples up to 4.13% C

Uranium North Resource Corp TSXV:UNR announced May 16 graphite sample results from its Amer Lake Property in Nunavut. Six randomly chosen samples from two drill holes showed assays of 4.13%, 3.2%, 3.84%, 0.6%, 3.22% and 3.77% carbon. The two holes, 3.1 kilometres apart, and a third hole 15 kilometres east, intersected graphitic beds that have been identified in three outcrops spanning an area 22 by 10 kilometres. The samples will undergo mineral liberation analysis to determine the nature and particle size of the graphite. Uranium North has staked additional claims over areas with outcropping graphitic rocks.

The project has an inferred uranium resource estimate of 19.3 million pounds grading 0.04% triuranium octoxide (U3O8) using the industry-standard cutoff of 0.01%. The project is 70 kilometres from an all-season road linking Agnico-Eagle’s TSX:AEM Meadowbank Gold Mine with the town of Baker Lake.

Lomiko expands Quebec Graphite Property

Lomiko Metals Inc TSXV:LMR announced May 14 a letter of agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Quatre Milles West Property in south Quebec. Under the agreement, Lomiko pays Zimtu Capital Corp TSXV:ZC and two other vendors a total of $3,000 and 1.8 million shares. The vendors retain a 2% NSR, half of which Lomiko may buy for $1 million.

The 2,180-hectare property covers the western extension of the geology that hosts the graphite-bearing structures shown in historic drilling at the company’s Quatre Milles Property. The combined property expands Quatre Milles from approximately 1,600 hectares to 3,780 hectares. Lomiko’s exploration program for the Quatre Milles Property includes mapping, prospecting and drilling to test and confirm historic high-grade graphite found by Graphicor Resources in a 26-hole, 1,625-metre drill program.

Read an interview with Lomiko CEO Paul Gill.

Read a feature story about Lomiko Metals.

Zenyatta updates Ontario Graphite Drilling

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd TSXV:ZEN announced May 14 a drilling update for its Albany Graphite Deposit in north Ontario. A stepout hole 450 metres east of the original discovery hole intersected 94 metres of near-surface graphitic breccia. A second hole collared from the same location but drilled in the opposite direction intersected 14.8 metres of graphitic veining and breccia followed by 108.2 metres of graphitic overprinting. Assays for the first hole are pending. The second hole will be redrilled due to mechanical problems with the rig. The company is currently drilling the first of two additional holes.

The graphite discovery is 30 kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway, a powerline and a natural gas pipeline, 70 kilometres from rail and about five kilometres from an all-weather road. The deposit is near surface, underneath glacial till overburden.

Read a feature story about Zenyatta Ventures.

Northern Graphite announces Agreements for Ontario Spherical Graphite Tests

Northern Graphite Corp TSXV:NGC announced May 14 two agreements for further tests to manufacture spherical graphite from its Bissett Creek Deposit in east Ontario. The company has engaged Hazen Research and the National Research Council Canada to continue testing and optimizing Northern’s process for manufacturing spherical graphite, which is used to make the anodes in lithium-ion batteries. The company has already developed a proprietary manufacturing process. Hazen Research will confirm lab results using bench-scale models of commercial purification equipment for the full-scale process. This program will likely be followed by pilot plant testing, engineering and design work to define the capital and operating costs of a commercial facility.

The NRC will test Northern’s spherical graphite in lithium-graphite batteries to optimize and customize its performance to meet the specifications of potential offtake customers and strategic partners. Bissett Creek is a high-purity, large-flake, scalable deposit close to infrastructure. Northern plans to complete a bankable feasibility study in 2Q 2012, followed by permitting. Subject to feasibility results and financing, mine construction could then begin.

Read a feature story about Northern Graphite.

Logan acquires Quebec Graphite Property

Logan Copper Inc TSXV:LC announced May 14 acquisition of the Carheil Graphite Property in northwest Quebec. The 2,185-hectare property was staked on the Gestim website of Ressources naturelles et Faune Québec. During the 1970s Noranda Exploration undertook geophysics and drilling on 145 hectares of the property.

The project is approximately 280 kilometres northwest of Val-d’Or. Other Quebec projects of the same name include Standard Graphite’s TSXV:SGH Carheil Project in the Labrador Trough of northeast Quebec and NQ Exploration’s TSXV:NQE silver-polymetallic project in the northern Abitibi region.

Disclaimer: Lomiko Metals Inc, Standard Graphite Corp and Zimtu Capital Corp are clients of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in those companies.

By Greg Klein

Read previous Graphite Digests here

Reuters urges Caution on Graphite

May 7th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningAsking “Will graphite go the way of rare earth?”a May 6 Reuters story states that shares of companies involved in graphite “have soared, probably to unsustainable highs.” The report says graphite prices “rose last year in part on concerns that China, which produces some 70% of global supply, will choke off exports much as it did with the rare earths.”

But as Chris Berry noted at OnPage Media’s Graphite Express-Conference in Toronto on May 2, a pullback in graphite stocks began about a month ago, well before the “unsustainable highs” now reported by Reuters. “Phase One of this graphite boom is completed,” Berry said. “But the trends that put graphite on the map are still intact.” The co-author of Morning Notes and founder of House Mountain Partners states that even without lithium batteries and other next-generation uses, “and assuming global GDP growth of 5% over the next eight or nine years, you’re looking at about a 1.8-million- or 1.9-million-tonne market.”

Reuters quotes Asbury Carbons CEO Stephen Riddle as saying, “In a three-month period we had prices double, just that quickly.” The story states, however, that his company, which manufactures a range of products from graphite, “has had no trouble finding graphite supplies, and prices are even softening.”

Reuters suggests that projected demand for lithium-ion batteries has been overstated and that manufacturers prefer synthetic graphite to the natural flake product. The article acknowledges that “synthetic graphite can cost more than $20,000 a tonne, while unprocessed flake graphite costs $1,500 to $3,000 a tonne. Add in processing and coating, and the price is about $8,000 a tonne, meaning natural graphite represents major cost savings.”

Nevertheless, Jonathan Lee, a battery materials analyst with Byron Capital Markets, says a shift to the natural product “will take time, and I don’t think that it is imminent.”

Reuters concludes with a comparison to the rare-earths bubble, in which stocks rose and fell sharply when China slashed exports in 2010. “You could double your money on a company that has nothing. However, there’s no way to tell when a flavour of the day will become a flavour of yesterday,” says Louis James, a mining investment strategist at Casey Research.

The article noted that “Northern Graphite TSXV:NGC, Focus Metals TSXV:FMS and Energizer Resources Inc TSXV:EGZ are often mentioned by analysts as promising development-stage companies.”

The US Geological Survey pegged 2011 world graphite production at 1.1 million tonnes. That amount is expected to drop in 2012, according to Simon Moores, an authority on graphite and other strategic commodities who writes for Industrial Minerals. Moores has also pointed out that China produces about 80% of world supply, not 70% as reported by Reuters.

Moores, Berry, geologist Mickey Fulp and others have pointed out a number of contrasts between the graphite space and the circumstances leading to the rare-earths bubble. They include the fact that graphite has a wider range of both current and emerging uses; graphite’s 2011 world production was about 10 times that of rare earths; graphite’s exploration and mining is simpler, faster and cheaper; graphite’s metallurgy is much simpler; and graphite expertise exists outside China, as does a graphite supply chain.

While Berry remains bullish on graphite, he cautions investors that a project “shouldn’t be too slanted toward a given end use, say batteries. A balanced footprint is the best bet because it insulates a company from demand shocks. What you need to remember is with a graphite deposit it is not one size fits all. Mesh size and carbon content can vary. It’s great to be able to say we have a certain percentage that is perfect for the battery industry, based on flake and carbon content. But if that’s only 20% of a given deposit, you need to be thinking about what’s going to happen with the other 80%.”

Disclaimer: Focus Metals Inc is a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Focus Metals.

No Flash In The Pan

May 4th, 2012

OPM’s Toronto Conference Outlines the Future of Graphite Mining

By Ted Niles

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Presented in association with the Financial Post, OnPage Media’s May 2 Graphite Express-Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto played to a crowd of over 300 attendees, including investors, brokers, analysts and media. The event posed the question: After the initial flush of enthusiasm for graphite, does the mineral still have a bright future?

The first of the conference’s two keynote speakers, Chris Berry—co-author of Morning Notes and founder of House Mountain Partners—notes that the graphite market went “parabolic” between December 2011 and March 2012 and that since then it has flattened out. His explanation? “What I’m proposing is that Phase One of this graphite boom is completed. But the trends that put graphite on the map are still intact. I think we’ve entered a new phase in graphite and graphite investing. By no means do I think that this bull run is over. The question is where do we go from here, and how do we interpret this space.”

Wary investors are inclined to compare graphite with such flash-in-the-pan commodities as rare earths and lithium. But the conference’s second keynote speaker, Simon Moores, calls this a flawed argument. The graphite market specialist for Industrial Minerals explains that graphite doesn’t have the infrastructural and technological challenges that rare earths do, and unlike lithium, “There are already very strong existing markets available for graphite.”

OPM's Toronto Conference Outlines the Future of Graphite Mining

Graphite is primarily used in the steel industry, both for its refractory qualities in the manufacture of the alloy, as well as a steel strengthener. Indeed, it is unlikely that the average person doesn’t own something containing graphite, be it a set of golf clubs, the brake linings in one’s car or, of course, a pencil. The US Geological Survey put 2011 world graphite production at 1.1 million tonnes, which is expected to drop in 2012. “Putting aside graphite’s next-generation uses,” Berry explains, “and assuming global GDP growth of 5% over the next eight or nine years, you’re looking at about a 1.8-million- or 1.9-million-tonne market. So even without those next-generation uses for graphite, there is growth in this industry and a need for additional supply.”

But it is those next-generation uses that have excited so much interest. Pebble-bed nuclear reactors and hydrogen fuel-cell technology, each by themselves, could potentially consume all current graphite production. And it is the battery market that offers the greatest near-term promise. Conservatively, lithium-ion batteries use 10 times more graphite than lithium. Should li-ion batteries become standard for the innumerable variety of handheld devices in use today, demand for the technology is anticipated to grow by 25% per year. Berry observes, “The top batteries are roughly 5% of world graphite demand, but that’s growing at 20%. That’s why you’re seeing people rush to find those flake deposits; that’s what’s used in li-ion batteries.”

Giving the examples of GS Yuasa Corporation, LG Chem Ltd and Liotech, Berry says that there are clear indications that battery makers are enamoured with the technology. “Just these three companies have committed to spend over $1 billion on expanding capacity. You can see that these major producers are making a bet that the need for cheap and reliable electricity is a reality.”

So where do we go from here, and how do we interpret this space? “Broadly speaking,” Berry declares, “your take on graphite moving forward relies on your take on China. What you think they’re going to be doing in terms of economic growth and resource nationalism.” China produces 80% of world graphite supply. Recent mine closures there as well as export restrictions have caused a number of countries (including the US) to designate the mineral economically critical. “Politically,” Moores declares, “China is the deal-maker or deal-breaker. China caused the boom in the early 1980s—a similar situation to today—then it flooded the market and caused the bust in 1993. Ironically, China’s now the reason for the boom again because it’s looking inward with its raw-material policy, and graphite’s very high on the agenda.”

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Graphite Digest

April 27th, 2012

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Northern Graphite CEO Gregory Bowes on Ontario graphite property met results

April 25th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningNorthern Graphite Corp TSXV:NGC announced metallurgical test results from its Bissett Creek Graphite Project in eastern Ontario. Tests confirmed high recovery of large-flake, high-purity graphite consistently across the resource. The overall recovery from eight locked-cycle tests was 97%, and almost all concentrate will qualify for large-flake (+80 mesh), high-carbon (94%) pricing. Results showed 33% of the concentrate was +50 mesh, 97% C and 19% was +32 mesh, 98% C. Two of the locked cycle tests showed +32 mesh, 99% C.

Average results from eight locations on the deposit show

19.1% of concentrate +32 mesh, 98.1% carbon
33% of concentrate +50 mesh, 97% C
23.3% of concentrate +80 mesh, 95.1% C
5.2% of concentrate +100 mesh, 94% C
10.5% of concentrate +200 mesh, 92.7% C

CEO Gregory Bowes tells, “I think we’re the only graphite company that’s really completed the full suite of metallurgical testing, bulk sampling, pilot plant, all of that stuff and published the results. And I think they confirm that we have the best flake-size distribution in the industry and the highest carbon content of our graphite concentrate, so we will be producing the highest-price, premium-value product.

From a mining and metallurgical point of view, the project has pretty well been de-risked—Gregory Bowes

“We expect to complete our bankable feasibility in late May. I’m pretty sure we’ll file the mine closure plan in May as well. That is the comprehensive document describing how we’ll return the site to its natural state at the end. If that’s accepted by the government, we can start construction. It will take about one year to build the mine, so we hope to be in production before the end of 2013.”

As for infrastructure, “We are 15 kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway, between Ottawa and North Bay, so we’re also 15 kilometres from the powerline and the natural gas pipeline. We’re about 50 kilometres from nearby towns, so we don’t have to build a camp. We’re five hours by truck from the port of Montreal. From there we can ship anywhere in the world. You can drive a transport truck from Toronto to the site in five hours. So you’re not dealing with the logistics of remote locations.

“From a mining and metallurgical point of view, the project has pretty well been de-risked,” he points out. “This thing had a full feasibility study done on it during the 1980s, so we’re effectively doing the second one, and all the results are consistent. So it’s low risk technically.”

View Company Profile

Gregory Bowes

or Don Baxter

Disclaimer: Northern Graphite Corp is a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Northern Graphite.

by Greg Klein

Top Rank

April 23rd, 2012

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.”

Standard Graphite Explores Quebec and Ontario Properties

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.

Graphite Digest

April 20th, 2012

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April 13th, 2012

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April 5th, 2012

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