Zenyatta Brings in Graphite Expert for Albany Project

Zenyatta Ventures Mining Camp in Arc of Fire in Northwestern Ontario
Zenyatta Ventures Mining Camp in Arc of Fire in Northwestern Ontario

Zenyatta Ventures Mining Camp in Arc of Fire in Northwestern Ontario
Zenyatta Ventures Mining Camp in Arc of Fire in Northwestern Ontario

THUNDER BAY – MINING – Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.  (TSX VENTURE:ZEN) have announced the appointment of Tadashi Yamashita to the position of Consultant – Market Development with responsibility for advancing marketing of the unique Albany high purity graphite material throughout Asia. Mr. Yamashita will be based in Tokyo, Japan and work closely with Zenyatta’s VP Market Development, Dr. Bharat Chahar.

Mr. Tadashi Yamashita is a chemical engineer with more than 35 years of carbon research and development experience with Mitsui Chemicals and ConocoPhillips based in Tokyo, Japan and New York, USA. Tadashi obtained a Masters Degree (Chemical Engineering) from Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Dr. Chahar stated, “I am delighted to have Mr. Yamashita join the ZEN team. We worked closely together at ConocoPhillips to successfully bring the CPREME(R) Graphite Materials to customers globally. Tadashi possesses a strong technology background and a broad business network, especially in Japanese industrial materials. He will be invaluable to Zenyatta as we advance our ultra-high purity carbon product for potential use in high-tech applications and will be instrumental during ongoing discussions with end users in Asia. Mr. Yamashita and I will continue discussions with interested parties and develop new relationships with downstream companies to create awareness of the ultra-high purity material while the graphite deposit is being developed.”

Mr. Yamashita commented, “Asia and specifically Japanese companies are keenly interested in high quality and secure supplies of natural resources sourced from stable political jurisdictions like Canada. I recognize that Zenyatta has discovered a special and large resource with excellent potential for high value carbon applications. I am very excited to be working with Bharat again and to be part of the ZEN team to help bring this unique graphite product to the Asian market.”

From 2003 to 2013 Mr. Yamashita worked with Dr. Chahar on marketing and business development of CPREME(R) Graphite Materials at ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66. They led the creation and development of this new business to produce and supply graphite anode material for Lithium-ion batteries. At the time, CPREME(R) graphite was the largest North American based supplier of anode materials for Lithium-ion batteries with customers across the three major continents – North America, Europe and Asia. They were responsible for strategic direction for marketing, sales, research and development.

The CPREME(R) graphite anode material was considered the benchmark by leading manufacturers in the Lithium-ion batteries for high power batteries such as those needed for the automotive market. The CPREME(R) graphite business was able to achieve the premier status in the industry despite the fact that the Lithium-ion battery manufacturers and their suppliers were largely based in Asia and ConocoPhillips had no market presence until 2006.

From 2001 to 2003 Tadashi was President for Conoco Carbon Fibers (Japan) which was a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips. This position focused on Conoco’s efforts to develop new carbon fibre products and manage development of heavy oil upgrading technologies. In this assignment, he was responsible for developing and implementing strategy for growing Conoco’s new carbon fiber product portfolio and extending carbon capabilities.

From 1985 to 2001 Mr. Yamashita was General Manager for Mitsui Chemicals based in New York and Tokyo. He managed various new chemical products development as part of the Advanced Composite Material Division. More recently, Tadashi was responsible for sales & marketing of Separator and Electrolyte solution of Lithium-ion batteries and energy related materials.

The world trend is to develop products for technological applications that need extraordinary performance using ultra-high purity graphite powder at an affordable cost. High purity is gaining prominence at a time when Zenyatta discovered a very rare (hydrothermal) graphite deposit, which can be upgraded to 99.99% carbon with very good crystallinity without the use of aggressive acids and high thermal treatment.

Arc of Fire a Second Ring of Fire

Zenyatta continues to develop the unique Albany (Hydrothermal) Graphite Deposit located in northeastern Ontario, Canada. The Company’s graphite deposit is located 30 km north of the Trans-Canada Highway, power line and natural gas pipeline near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. A rail line is located 70 km away with an all-weather road approximately 4-5 km from the graphite deposit.

The outlook for the global graphite market is very promising with demand growing rapidly from new applications. Graphite is now considered one of the more strategic elements by many leading industrial nations, particularly for its growing importance in high technology manufacturing and in the emerging “green” industries such as electric vehicle components. The application for graphitic material is constantly evolving due to its unique chemical, electrical and thermal properties. It maintains its stability and strength under temperatures in excess of 3,300 degrees 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.