IM Graphite News in Brief 6 – 12 November

By Myles McCormick
Published: Thursday, 12 November 2015

Ardiden begins drilling at Manitouwadge; Ashburton acquires controlling stake in Buckingham mine; new deposits discovered in China’s Heilongjiang and Sichuan provinces.

ASX-listed Ardiden Ltd has begun a diamond drilling programme at its Manitouwadge graphite project in Ontario, Canada, designed to test recently identified outcropping graphite and electromagnetic conductors over a strike distance of 19km.

The drilling follows a geophysical review which expanded the site’s claim package to 5,300 hectares (53km2) and the strike length of electromagnetic anomalies with graphite prospectively to 19.3km.

The company said that the focus of the drilling would be to confirm the continuity of graphite at depth, complete an assaying analysis and obtain samples for inspection by potential customers.

Black Rock Mining Ltd, also ASX-listed, has begun metallurgical testwork on core and rock samples from the Epanko north and Ulanzi areas of its Mahenge project and also from its Bagamoyo project, both in Tanzania

A total of 800 kg is being tested for process flowsheet design and graphite concentrate marketing purposes. The work is intended to indicate concentrate purities from conventional flotation.

The company also reported that new drilling assays at Ulanzi had returned 73 metres at 10.25% TGC, including 20 metres at 14.58% total graphitic carbon (TGC); and 72 metres at 9.43% TGC, including 18 metres at 13.18% TGC.

Black Rock’s exploration target for the Mahenge property as a whole is between 84m tonnes and 115m tonnes at 8.66% to 10.34% TGC.

ASX-listed Triton Minerals Ltd is hoping to raise Australian dollar (A$) 11.3m ($7.97*)  via an entitlement issue, as part of its drive to become a vertically integrated graphite producer within Mozambique.

GMP Securities Australia is to underwrite A$4m of the total sum, which will be used to define resources at the Ancuabe project and at the P66 zone of Triton’s Nicanda Hill property, to expand a definitive feasibility study (DFS) to take account of the newly defined resources and to fund the construction of a joint venture (JV) manufacturing facility in China with its partner Yichang Xincheng Graphite Co. Ltd.

MRL Corp. Ltd, also ASX-listed, has secured a new 7,600 hectare (76km2) exploration licence covering in Sri Lankan in the Warakapola region, where its Pandeniya project is situated.

The licence adds to the 6,300 hectares (63km2) of Sri Lankan exploration licences currently held by company. It will last for two years with a further five renewals of two years each available.

MRL intends to start high-grade graphite production in the March quarter of 2016.

In Canada, TSX-V-listed Ashburton Ventures Inc. announced that it will proceed with an option agreement with Cavan Ventures Inc. to take a 60% interest in the latter’s Buckingham graphite project, following receipt of stock exchange approval.

The site consists of 28 claims over 1,683 hectares (17km2) outside the township of Buckingham, Quebec, Canada. Previous exploration activity in the southern part of the site yielded assay results up to 21.6% TGC over 14.5 metres and purity results up to 96.1% C from large flake fractions.

Ashburton plans to begin a 2,000 metre drilling programme in the coming weeks.

Separately, the company plans two non-brokered private placements for total proceeds of Canadian dollar (C$) 250,000 ($189,000*), most of which is to be put towards funding the work at Buckingham.

Energiser Resources Inc., also listed on the TSX-V, said that third party testing confirmed that flake concentrates from its Molo deposit in southern Madagascar either met or exceeded quality requirements for all major end-markets for natural flake graphite.

These include refractories, anode material for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and specialty graphite foils, and ink applications.

Graphite One Resources Inc., another TSX-V-listed graphite explorer, developing the Graphite Creek project in Alaska, US, said it would issue shares to settle outstanding debts of C$66,000.

The company plans to issue around 733,000 common shares at C$0.09/share, subject to TSX-V approval.

In China, Tianjin Geological Exploration Bureau announced the discovery of a new graphite mine in the viallage of Kuishan, Lincou, Heilongjiang province. Preliminary estimates indicate the site has a mineral resource of more than 1m tonnes.

Drilling has reached 2,500 metres and indicates that the main ore body is 600 metres from east to west, with a width of 300 metres north to south at its widest point and a thickness of 200 metres from surface level.

Another mine was discovered in Liangmiaoping, Nanjiang County, in the province of Sichuan, according to the Bazhong Municipal Government, with an estimated mineral resource exceeding 10m tonnes.  Nanjiang is home to two other graphite mines – Yangbajian Mountain and Pinghe.

The Bazhong government aims to make graphite a leading local industry over the coming years, establishing a graphite industrial park by 2020 and building an electric vehicle battery production facility and R&D base within 10 years.

Chongqing Sanxia Paint Co., listed in Sichuan, said it would purchase a 10% stake in Nanjiang Sitong Mining Co., which owns the exploration rights to the Jianshan graphite mine in Nanjiang.

Sanxia Paint also stated it would enter into a cooperation aggreement on graphite material with Sitong’s parent company, Tianhui Changyu Co.

In graphene news, Saint Jean Carbon Inc., also TSX-V-listed, filed two primary graphene patents. The first is to a process the production of graphene with a high degree of stability, in large volume and without harsh chemicals.

The second is for the production of spherically-shaped graphite to be used in lithium-ion batteries. The company said that the spherical shape offers the best volume to area ratio and the maximum materials density, ultimately allowing for a better battery discharge and recharge rate.

The company intends to file five more primary patents numerous secondary.

Lomiko Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of TSX-V-listed Lomiko Metals Inc., has secured a C$110,000 loan from Graphene ESD Corp.

The companies have been working in collaboration with the Research Foundation of Stony Brook University, New York, US to investigate new, energy-focused applications for graphene.

Lomico said that the loan would be used to market a number of electronic devices and for general working capital purposes.

*Conversions made November 2015

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