Graphite Testing Shows Zenyatta Graphite High Quality
THUNDER BAY – Mining – Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. has announced results from testing at a prominent Canadian university to define crystallinity and surface area characteristics of Zenyatta’s high purity Albany graphite.
Crystallinity – A sample of Zenyatta’s graphite was examined with a high resolution scanning electron microscope (‘SEM’). The SEM images reveal a highly crystalline structure with surfaces of individual grains of graphite being essentially platy or flat.
Don Hains, P. Geo. industrial minerals specialist and advisor to Zenyatta stated “SEM Photos show highly crystalline graphite with no contaminants and a very high aspect ratio (length verses thickness). These images closely resemble micrographs of commercial grade synthetic graphite as published by major synthetic graphite producers. The typical particle size from the SGS bench scale processing was in the 7 – 46 micron range.”
A high degree of crystallinity results in various positive qualities that graphite is known for such as electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, compressibility, dimension stability, bending strength and lubricity.
Surface Area – The university also provided a BET (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) analysis of the Company’s high-purity graphite. BET testing is widely used in surface science for the calculation of surface areas of solids. The surface area of graphite is an important physical property for electronics, Li-ion batteries, various other batteries, super-capacitors, sensors and catalysts to name just a few applications.
Don Hains, P. Geo. stated, “The BET results indicate very high quality natural graphite matching high purity synthetic graphite in terms of surface area. Also, the average pore diameter for the Zenyatta material shows the unit cells are the same as determined for pure natural graphite.”
BET data are within range of typical high grade synthetic graphite powder. It is also worth emphasizing that the measurements were performed on unmilled graphite material produced from the initial caustic bake process development tests. Further work to optimize the process conditions and to prepare materials to meet target customer specifications is underway and will result in production of a range of grades with varying BET, particle size, particle size distribution and particle morphology characteristics.
Aubrey Eveleigh, President and CEO commented, “This new data on the physical characteristics of the Albany graphite is consistent with the results of the recent work on resistivity and shows the high quality nature of the Albany graphite which could be suitable for a wide range of high technology applications presently served by synthetic graphite.”
Zenyatta will continue to test the characteristics of the Albany graphite at various laboratory facilities in the U.S., Europe and Canada where the required instrumentation is available. Additional test results will be reported when received.
Zenyatta continues to explore its 100% owned Albany (Hydrothermal) Graphite Deposit located in northern Ontario, Canada, and anticipates releasing additional drill results in the near-term. A NI 43-101 resource estimate by RPA is scheduled for mid 4Q/13 (November), and the Company remains well funded. A Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) is expected to be concluded in 1Q/14. In preparation for a PEA, Roskill Information Services Ltd. has been retained to undertake a detailed world graphite marketing study and SGS Canada Inc. are to provide an optimized flow sheet after processing a 5 tonne mini-bulk sample.
Zenyatta’s Albany graphite deposit is located 30km north of the Trans Canada Highway, power line and natural gas pipeline near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst in northern Ontario, Canada. A rail line is located 70km away and an all-weather road approximately 4-5km from the graphite deposit. The deposit is near surface, underneath glacial till overburden and a thin veneer of Paleozoic sedimentary cover rocks.
The outlook for the global graphite market is very promising with demand growing rapidly from new applications. It 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 3,500°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. The world trend is to develop products for technological applications that need extraordinary performance using ultra-high purity graphite powders.