Police in Oklahoma made one
of the biggest seizures of smuggled cocaine in state history
last month, when they discovered around $5m-worth of the drug
hidden in blocks of
graphite powder, carbon paper, cellophane and packing
According to a report by Mustang News, the
cocaine was discovered when sheriffs of Canadian County in
Oklahoma pulled over a truck on Interstate 40 to the east of
"The graphite powder would have been added
in an attempt to mask the drug odours from drug dogs my
deputies had at the scene," Sherriff Randall Edwards is quoted
Graphite has excellent insulation
properties and is often used in protective coating
applications, making it an ideal mask for smuggling products
that can be detected by scent.
The Canadian County sheriffs decided that
the driver of the truck was probably ignorant of the cocaine,
which had been stowed in specially made secret compartment of a
truck that was being used to haul the cars. The driver was
released and the truck was impounded.
In mining news, Canadiangraphite junior
Inc. has retained mining consultants Met-Chem, Soutex,
Hatch and Gesmine Inc. for the completion of the feasibility
study (FS) on its Lac Gueret graphite project in northeast
Hatch will additionally perform the
project’s environmental and social impact
assessment, which is being conducted in parallel to the FS.
Both are expected to be finished in the second quarter of
Mason also announced that it completed its
pilot plant testing in December 2014. The pilot tests were
conducted at the COREM research facility in Quebec City in the
final quarter of last year and tested a number of samples from
a 60 tonne bulk sample of Lac Gueret graphite ore.
Having extended the initial six-week
programme to improve the flow sheet design, Mason said it will
now send its process samples for analyses of particle size,
distribution and mineralogy. The company expects to receive the
results of the analyses in early 2015.
Also in Canada, Zenyatta Ventures
Ltd has commenced a one-to-two hole drilling programme
on a buried geophysical target north of the
company’s Albany graphite deposit in northeast
The programme is designed to fulfil
Zenyatta’s obligations to its shareholder, Cliffs
Natural Resources Exploration Canada Inc., and will consist of
approximately 650-700 metres to test a magnetic anomaly
identified by VTEM surveys in 2010 and 2013.
Saint Jean Carbon
Inc. has closed its acquisition of the Clot lump
graphite claims in Quebec, following the TSX-V’s
acceptance of documents related to the sale.
The company will issue 4.5m common shares
at a deemed price of $0.05/share, of which 3.5m will be issued
on closing, in addition to $2,500 cash in return for the
The Clot property is located in southern
Quebec, 150km northwest of Montreal and consists of five
established claims, plus a further three claims under request
for a total area of more than 297.4ha (3km2).
TSX-V listed Graphite One Resources
Inc. has outlined its 2015 operational targets for its
Graphite Creek deposit in Alaska, US.
The company said it expects to release the
results of its 22 hole, 2,297 204 drilling programme by the
middle of this month and is looking to update its NI 43-101
resource for Graphite Creek by the end of Q1. As of January
2014, the project’s resource stands at 186.9m
tonnes graphite, grading at 5.5% C, using a 3% C cut-off.
Graphite One is aiming to publish its
inaugural preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for Graphite
Creek by the middle of 2015 and has a metallurgical test work
programme underway to evaluate the processing parameters of
drilling samples. Results from this testing are expected by the
end of March.
ASX-listed Metals of Africa
Ltd has issued its quarterly activities report for the
three months to the end of December 2014, where it outlined its
continuing exploration of the Montepuez graphite property in
Drilling at the property targeted three
zones where significant graphite mineralisation was
intersected. A total of 409 core samples were sent to be
assayed at the end of last year, with results expected in early
According to Australian media reports, the
company has completed its acquisition of the Balama Central
graphite project, also in Mozambique, next to fellow ASX-listed
Syrah Resources Ltd’s Balama graphite project,
which has a resource of 1.15bn tonnes graphite grading at 10.2%
Metals of Africa has agreed to pay a cash
sum of $250,000 for the property, in addition to $200,000 in
paid ordinary shares on completion of the deal. The company is
now planning a drilling program, based on data gathered from a
recent VTEM survey flown over Balama Central.
Nearby, Australia-headquartered Triton Minerals
Ltd has identified three new exploration prospects at
its Ancuabe project in northeast Mozambique, following a 1,800
km line VTEM survey of the property completed in late 2014.
Triton said that it intends to test these
new anomalies with exploration and drilling later this year and
is awaiting results from the rest of the survey data.
Separate reconnaissance mapping and
sampling on one previously identified prospect area at Ancuabe
has confirmed the presence of visible jumbo flake
(>2,000μm) graphite. Assays of rock chip samples taken
from the prospect yielded average grades of 17.6% C, with a
maximum grade of 22.3% C.
Triton has also collected a 12 tonne bulk
sample from its nearby Nicanda Hill graphite project for pilot
plant level studies. Assays from the sample averaged 17.2%
Ltd has released results from the latest drilling
programme on the Merelani Block C area of its Merelani-Arusha
graphite project in Tanzania.
Results from the first 12 reverse
circulation drill holes have so far been received, yielding
grades of 6.7-19.7% C over intersections ranging from 5-61
metres in length.
Metallurgical tests are being carried out
on the samples and Kibaran said that the findings support the
potential for a significantly larger occurrence of graphite to
that originally mined at Merelani, over a much broader
The company also announced that it has
received an extension to the exclusivity period it has to
explore Merelani Block C, which will now run until 5 May
To Australia, where Valence Industries
Ltd has published an update on its activities at the
recently reopened Uley graphite mine in South Australia.
The company said that its phase one plant
is reprocessing raw material from existing fines and stockpiles
of graphite ore leftover at the site from the
mine’s previous operations and said that the
production will continue to be ramped up progressively.
As of 31 December 2014, the company had
cash reserves of $8.3m, having spent $3.5m on plant and
laboratory test programmes during the last quarter as well as
$158,000 on exploration activities.
In Sri Lanka, Canada-based Elcora Resources
Corp. has completed an underground survey of the
existing Ragedara graphite mine workings, where the company
hopes to restart excavation of vein graphite material.
Additional surveys are now being conducted
on pits to the north and south of Ragedara and the company is
also planning and budgeting for a phase one underground
drilling programme at the site.
Elcora’s CEO, Troy Grant,
said that subject to the results of the drilling, the findings
may be used in a future resource estimate for Ragedara.
In financial news, Big North Graphite
Corp. is looking to raise up to $250,000 from existing
shareholders and other investors through a non-brokered private
placement of common shares at a price of $0.02/share.
Assuming the offering is fully subscribed,
the company intends to pay $160,000 the vendors of its El Tejon
graphite project in Mexico and use the balance for general
working capital purposes.
Last month, the company revealed that its
deal with fellow TSX-V listed graphite company Flinders
Resources Ltd had fallen through as a result of Big
North’s failure to satisfy all of its due
ASX-listed Ardiden Ltd has
raised Australian dollar (A$)300,000 ($234,000*) via a private
placement to help it fund a maiden drilling programme at its
recently acquired Manitouwadge graphite project in Ontario,
The placement comprised 60m shares at a
price of A$0.05/share. Directors of the company have agreed to
invest A$75,000 of the placement, subject to shareholder and
other regulatory approvals.
Ardiden hopes to proceed with the
Manitouwadge drilling programme before the end of Q1 2015.
In graphene news,
Spanish nanotechnology company Graphenea has
collaborated with researchers from France’s
Centre National de
la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Basque technology
SL to develop graphene for use as an anti-bacterial
agent and biosensor.
Graphene is 100% carbon, which has very
low toxicity, making it potentially suitable for human health
applications. The material’s ability to absorb
light and convert it into heat, which has already been used to
destroy cancer cells, can also be harnessed for killing harmful
bacteria like E-coli, Graphenea said.
In a separate piece of research, the three
teams demonstrated that a layer of graphene on gold can act as
a highly effective sensor of DNA hybridisation. The paper,
entitled "Highly sensitive detection of DNA hybridization in
commercialised graphene-coated surface plasmon resonance
surfaces", has been published in the journal Analytical
Sdn, a subsidiary of UK AIM-listed Graphene NanoChem
Plc, has signed an agreement with an undisclosed
international oil company for testing and evaluation of its
graphene-based PlatDrill drilling fluids.
Graphene NanoChem said that the oil
company was one of the "top five" in the world and that the
deal marks a significant milestone in the phased expansion of
PlatDrill into new regions.
The company expects the tests to be
completed by Q4 2015, after which it hopes to enter commercial
discussions with the oil firm.
Finally, Graphene 3D Lab
Inc. has installed filament production equipment at
its manufacturing facilities in New York State, US.
The industrial scale thermoplastic
extruder will allow the company to make conductive graphene
filaments, with a capacity of up to 10kg/hour.
*Conversion made February