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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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Standard Graphite CEO Chris Bogart on Quebec graphite property TDEM survey

April 18th, 2012

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningStandard Graphite Corp TSXV:SGH announced results of an airborne time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) survey of its Carheil Graphite Property in northeast Quebec. Data from the 300-line-kilometre survey suggests four distinct conductors cutting across the entire length of the property for strike lengths of up to six kilometres.

The geology of the area is characterized by rocks of the Menihek formation, strongly metamorphosed graphite-bearing pelitic sediments, the company reports. This geological formation accounts for most of the region’s graphite occurrences. The property is approximately 10 kilometres from Focus Metals’ TSXV:FMS Lac Knife Deposit. Carheil now consists of 25 designated claims covering 3,885 hectares.

President/CEO Chris Bogart tells ResourceClips.com, “We started picking up graphite properties early on, back in November. We have 13 properties now, including the new one we announced on April 4.

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

“Today’s results come from Carheil, which is one of our claims close to the Lac Knife Project. Carheil has a power line and a road running right through the property, so we’ve got great infrastructure. It’s a big mining camp,” he says.

“As soon as the snow clears, which should be about mid-May, we’ll be on the ground in Carheil doing our basic mapping, trenching and sampling to determine some additional results. Our goal this summer is to drill our best targets, Carheil being one of them.

“EM will be the first line of exploration on all the properties. We’re doing that as we speak. We’ll have that complete by day’s end tomorrow. The results will be coming. 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. Once you’re drilling, the season is 12 months a year.

“We’re still determining which of our properties will be the flagship,” he adds. “That’s part of the process for this exploration season. It’s very ambitious but we’re confident we’ll be able to accomplish it. Our goal for one year from now is to identify our flagship asset and publish our first NI 43-101 resource on it.”

Comparing the graphite sector with the previous boom in rare earths, he says, “I think graphite has more longevity. The metallurgy is substantially less complicated. The cap costs to go into production are significantly lower, so it’s not as prohibitive to a junior. When we talk about production, to talk about $70 million, $80 million in capex versus $600 million, $700 million that you might need in a rare earth company, that’s a substantial difference.”

Bogart emphasizes, “Any investor should lean heavily on management’s expertise and track record. Ours is quite substantial. We’re the only exploration company that I’m aware of in Canada that has a graphite exploration geologist [Antoine Fournier] and a graphite executive with sales, marketing and operations experience [Benoît Gascon]. So we can not only discover, identify, evaluate and graduate a project, but we also have a team that can take it to production. And in industrial minerals, sales and marketing is of absolute cornerstone importance. So we’re well suited to advance those projects. We have the team to do it.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Chris Bogart
President/CEO
604.683.2509

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

by Greg Klein

Graphite Digest

April 13th, 2012

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Graphite Digest

April 5th, 2012

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Talk About Success

February 27th, 2012

An Overflow Crowd Attends North America’s First Graphite Conference

By Greg Klein

Surveying the room, Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC President Dave Hodge stated that soaring world demand for graphite presents great challenges and opportunities. The scene was Vancouver’s February 23 Graphite Express-Conference, where an SRO crowd of over 400 brokers, analysts and investors listened to presentations and met with representatives of the junior exploration sector. Hosted by ResourceClips.com publisher OnPage Media Corp, the event was the first in North America to focus on this hot commodity.

Keynote speaker Chris Berry, co-author of Morning Notes and founder of House Mountain Partners, emphasized the role of small-cap explorers in finding resources to satisfy both current and future demand. The future of graphite, he declared, is one of highly encouraging probabilities and mind-boggling possibilities.

An Overflow Crowd Attends North America's First Graphite Conference

Over 400 brokers, analysts and investors attended the Feb 23 Graphite Express-Conference in Vancouver

Graphite is already crucial to the steel industry. An extremely heat-resistant material, it’s used to line the refractories inside blast furnaces and the ladles and crucibles that hold molten steel. It’s also a key ingredient in strengthening steel. It’s used in a range of products including gaskets, brake linings, tennis rackets and golf clubs. It’s what puts the “lead” in pencils, and is essential to the burgeoning battery industry.

Lithium-ion batteries use anywhere from 10 to 30 times more graphite than lithium. Li-ion demand is expected to grow by 25% a year once the batteries become standard for phones, cameras, MP3 players and, especially, electric vehicles. Pebble-bed nuclear reactors could use as much flake graphite as the world now produces. Hydrogen fuel cells, Berry said, “could potentially require all of today’s current supply, never mind batteries, never mind nukes, never mind steelmaking.” Innovation could drive demand even further, and graphene—a truly extraordinary graphite derivative—is just the material to inspire innovation.

China currently produces about 80% of the world’s graphite supply but has restricted its exports. Resource nationalism, as Berry calls it, will play a crucial role in graphite supply and demand. Britain, the US and other countries have already designated graphite as economically critical.

He noted that emerging economies bring with them a rising quality of life, and “You can’t attain that without access to affordable, reliable and cheap electricity.

China’s current five-year plan “is the greenest in Chinese history,” Berry said, with the government committed to over $630 billion of energy research and development. “Graphite is essential to the Chinese drive to find next-generation technology in energy storage, energy generation and energy efficiency.”

According to the US Geological Survey, 2011 world graphite production totalled 1.1 million tonnes. Some 60% of that is amorphous graphite, suited to steelmaking and other traditional uses. Only 40% of current production is the flake graphite necessary for lithium-ion batteries and other new technologies. Traditional graphite use alone is expected to increase by 5% a year.

Berry explained, “These numbers ignore higher growth rates in batteries, that 25% I mentioned, and the potential for fuel cells and the potential growth in China and the US for pebble-bed nukes. Looking at the battery demand alone, compounded by 25% year on year until 2020, we’ll need 327,000 tonnes not just of graphite but of large-flake, high-purity graphite. If you add to that pebble-bed nuclear reactor demand just from China, that would require another 400,000 tonnes of large-flake graphite by 2020. Current global supply of large-flake graphite is just 400,000 tonnes. Batteries and pebble-bed nuclear reactors would require double the supply of large-flake graphite in the next eight years.”

Then there’s graphene. Thin enough to be transparent, more conductive than copper, 200 times stronger than steel, rollable, bendable, foldable, this graphite derivative has caught the imagination of R&D boffins around the world. Berry said the wonder material could replace silicon in microchips, making them smaller and faster. “That’s about a $9-billion-a-year market by my estimates.” Among graphene’s near-term commercial applications are amazingly tough bendy-screen phones and, looking further into the future, mobile displays.

Batteries and pebble bed nuclear reactors would require double the supply of large-flake graphite in the next eight years—which again I think makes the case for the junior companies going forward —Chris Berry

The graphite market’s biggest concern is security of supply, Berry stressed. This gets tricky because graphite has to be refined according to each customer’s specific needs. “If you’re an automotive manufacturer or battery manufacturer, security of supply is what keeps you up at night” Berry said. “That makes the case for additional entry into the graphite space, especially by the juniors.”

Seven such companies took part in the conference, representing the “major exploration boom” Industrial Minerals has attributed to Canada. Their properties ranged from recent acquisitions to advanced-stage projects. But given the relatively low costs for every stage from graphite resource estimate to capex, as well as the strong potential for offtake agreements, the term “fast-track” became familiar.

Solace Resources TSXV:SOR chose the day of the conference to announce a proposed name change to First Graphite Corp, following closely on its option of the Montpellier Graphite Project in Quebec. Lomiko Metals TSXV:LMR entered the graphite space in January with an option to acquire a 100% interest from Zimtu in the Quatre Milles Graphite Property, also in Quebec. That same month, Cedar Mountain Exploration TSXV:CED optioned the Graphite Creek Property in Alaska. Standard Graphite TSXV:SGH now holds 12 graphite properties in Quebec and Ontario.

Strike Graphite TSXV:SRK has options with Zimtu on two graphite properties in Saskatchewan, as well as the Wagon Graphite Property in Quebec. Northern Graphite TSXV:NGC has taken its Bissett Creek Graphite Project in Ontario into feasibility. Most senior of Canada’s graphite juniors is Focus Metals TSXV:FMS, which is pushing the world’s highest-grade graphite deposit towards 2013 production at Lac Knife, Quebec.

“If I’m only halfway right, then obviously demand will outstrip supply, and when I look over the landscape, even the companies that exist today will not be able to satisfy the demand for high-purity, large-flake graphite—which means higher prices,” said Berry.

Following the event, OnPage Media principal Robert Bick said, “The tremendous success of this conference shows the keen interest in this white-hot commodity. Events like this bring investors and explorers together, helping them realize future opportunities. So we’ve already booked Chris Berry for a second graphite conference in Toronto.”

Disclaimer: Zimtu Capital Corp, Solace Resources Corp, Lomiko Metals Inc, Cedar Mountain Exploration Inc, Standard Graphite Corp, Strike Graphite Corp, Northern Graphite Corp and Focus Metals Inc are clients of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in those companies.

Read feature story on graphite.

View materials and videos from the conference.

Orocan President Chris Bogart on aerial survey of Ontario graphite properties

January 5th, 2012

Update: Effective February 3, 2012, Orocan Resource changed its name and stock symbol to Standard Graphite Corp TSXV:SGH.

Resource Clips - essential news on junior gold mining and junior silver miningOrocan Resource Corp TSXV:OR announced an airborne survey of the graphite potential of its Black Donald, Little-Bryan and Lyndoch properties in southeast Ontario. The low-altitude 1,492-line-kilometre survey will measure bedrock conductivity (TDEM) and magnetic properties.

The Black Donald property surrounds the former Black Donald Mine that produced high-grade, high-purity graphite between 1896 and 1950. Graphite has also been reported at several locations on the current claim block and was drill-tested in 1982. Little-Bryan and Lyndoch are also centred on known graphite occurrences and have undergone trenching and shallow diamond drilling. Results from the airborne survey are expected in January and will form the basis of 2012 prospecting, trenching and drilling programs.

Graphite is a carbon allotrope used in steel production and increasingly in fuel cells, solar panels, pebble bed nuclear reactors and lithium-ion batteries.

As more people become aware of graphite, I think you’ll see numerous companies start over the next six to 12 months. I think what will set us apart is not just the quality and breadth of our assets but Antoine [Fournier] as a graphite geologist—because they’re very hard to find. We’re just lucky that we acquired one of the best—Chris Bogart

President/CEO Chris Bogart tells ResourceClips.com, “We like a number of things about graphite compared to the gold sector. We really like the long-term supply-demand fundamentals, which mean elevated graphite prices. We’ve seen a substantial increase in graphite pricing on a per-tonne basis. We believe those fundamentals give us the opportunity to implement a strategy of exploration, discovery and development.

“We also like the exploration fundamentals of graphite compared to some other metals,” he adds. “We found graphite actually economical in cost and time frame, particularly because graphite’s unique physical properties and high conductivity make the airborne EM strategy extremely effective.

“In addition, we like the fact that there’s not a lot of competition in the marketplace. There are just a handful of companies in North America in this sector,” Bogart says.

“We acquired these properties based on the geologic characteristics of large-flake, high-purity graphite deposits. It’s the only style of deposit we would be targeting. That’s where we believe the future demand will be.

“We expect all the data to be complete this month. The survey should be complete and the data analyzed by our geophysicist within the month,” he points out.

“Our next step will be two-fold. We’ll be starting an EM survey on our Quebec assets and then organizing and prioritizing our targets for some ground follow-up in the spring. That will include ground EM if we need it, as well as basic mapping, sampling and trenching.”

Chief Geologist Antoine Fournier took part in the discovery of Focus Metals’ TSXV:FMS Lac Knife graphite deposit. “We were extremely fortunate to get someone of Antoine’s stature in our company,” Bogart emphasizes. “As more people become aware of graphite, I think you’ll see numerous companies start over the next six to 12 months. I think what will set us apart is not just the quality and breadth of our assets but Antoine as a graphite geologist—because they’re very hard to find. We’re just lucky that we acquired one of the best.”

View Company Profile

Contact:
Chris Bogart
President/CEO
604.683.2509

Read feature story on graphite.

Disclaimer: Orocan Resource Corp may be a client of OnPage Media and the principals of OnPage media may hold shares in Orocan.

by Greg Klein