THUNDER BAY – Mining Now – Graphene is an allotrope of carbon. Its structure is one-atom-thick planar sheets of sp2-bonded carbon atoms that are densely packed in a honeycomb crystal lattice. “Graphene holds great promise for the development of nano-scale devices and equipment. It consists of a single layer of graphite atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice, similar to a honeycomb. As a two-dimensional material, every atom is exposed to the surface. It forms the basis of graphite fibers used in tennis racquets and other durable products. When rolled, very useful tiny tubes called nanotubes can be fabricated,” according to Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
What is exciting about this is that Zenyatta Ventures, based in Thunder Bay, has announced discoveries of graphite in Northwestern Ontario.
The company reports, “The Zenyatta graphite discovery is located 30km north of the Trans Canada Highway and approximately 4km from an all-weather road. It is within 40-50 metres of surface, underneath overburden (glacial till/swamp). Although much more work is needed to determine the full importance of Zenyatta’s new graphite deposit, the outlook for the global graphite market is very bullish. Graphite is a natural form of carbon with the chemical formula C, which it shares with diamond and coal. It is considered one of the more strategic elements by many leading industrial nations. The application for graphitic material is constantly evolving due to its unique chemical, electrical and thermal properties. It maintains its and stability and strength under temperatures in excess of 3,000°C and is very resistant to chemical corrosion. It is also one of the lightest of all reinforcing elements and has high natural lubricating abilities. Some of these key physical and chemical properties make it critical to modern industry”.
“Until now, there’s been no definitive set of experiments that people can use to validate or invalidate the computer simulations that model the mechanical properties of materials at strains literally up to the breaking point, ” said Columbia Professor Jeffrey Kysar. “It’s important because this is a fundamental parameter for all types of materials.
“The Air Force wants to introduce new materials within a five-year cycle, versus 20 years now, so being able to predict the mechanical behavior of how a new material will fail under the most extreme circumstances will make it much less expensive and less time consuming to develop, and with better materials for everyday life.”
“Though the strength of any practical material is still limited by many types of defects, the research can lead to a better understanding of the behavior of materials at extreme conditions, such as [those that] exist near the tip of a crack,” said Hone. “This can in turn lead to far more robust materials, ones more resistant to oxidation and fatigue. Achieving a better understanding of how materials fail allows us to design and create newer, safer materials, and ultimately to build a safer, more efficient environment for us.”
In a media release, Zenyatta stated, “Also during the drilling campaign several holes intersected a series of layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions with cumulate textures and mineralization indicative of an environment that produces magmatic sources of nickel, copper, and platinum group metals related to Mid-Continent Rifting. For example, drill holes testing targets on claim blocks 4a, 4b, 2b and 2i intersected gabbroic/pyroxenitic bodies, believed to be of Proterozoic age, containing local magmatic sulphide droplets of pyrrhotite, pyrite and chalcopyrite, which validates the original geological theory upon which the Albany project was based. To date, assay results have not shown any economic nickel or copper values, but the Company is encouraged by these newly identified, favourable sulphide-bearing intrusions. Zenyatta will be contemplating down-hole geophysics to further define existing targets and carrying out additional interpretation of the assay results. This will help determine the location of additional drilling and identify secondary targets to further test for magmatic mineralization. Further exploration work is warranted”.
Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. is listed on the TSX VENTURE:ZEN
Northwestern Ontario – Not just the Ring of Fire!