|Zenyatta to focus on graphene converted from Albany|
2018-01-29 17:15 ET - News Release
Mr. Aubrey Eveleigh reports
ZENYATTA WILL FOCUS FUTURE EFFORTS ON VALUE-ADDED GRAPHENE CONVERTED FROM ALBANY GRAPHITE IN A VERTICALLY INTEGRATED STRUCTURE
Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.'s strategic focus is on the extraordinary nanomaterial called graphene, which is easily converted from the company's highly crystalline Albany graphite deposit. Graphene is emerging as the most promising new material in modern times for enhancing applications in various industries due to its unique combination of mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. Graphene, a single sheet of carbon discovered in 2004 at the University of Manchester, can perform all of these functions.
During 2017, independent labs in Japan, United Kingdom, Israel, United States and Canada have demonstrated that Zenyatta's rare form of graphite easily converts (exfoliates) to graphene using a variety of simple mechanical methods. It has become apparent that the effort from these various collaborative programs has created significant additional value for the company's specific material. It is also important to note that the graphene produced by Zenyatta's partners is a consistent and high-quality nanomaterial, including the most desirable, monolayer to trilayer forms. The company's graphene also has excellent dispersion properties and therefore is highly suitable for enhancing present-day composite materials like rubber and concrete, as confirmed by the University of Sussex and the Ben-Gurion University, respectively. The composite material market represents a very-large-volume end use for graphene and graphene-oxide. A significant business opportunity has now evolved related to this graphene product, which currently sells at prices of thousands of U.S. dollars per kilogram*. The prior business model in the company's PEA (preliminary economic assessment) from 2015 included producing and selling high-purity graphite at $7.50 (U.S.) per kg.
Many corporate and academic R&D (research and development) facilities around the world are currently competing to find the most effective, cost-efficient and scalable process to produce high-quality graphene. These companies still require a consistent source (or precursor) material for conversion to graphene, which is then applied to their various products for enhancement. Zenyatta has a significant competitive advantage with the ownership of a large and high-quality supply of source material, Albany graphite, in Canada. The company is currently assessing the various simple graphene conversion methods being utilized on its high-purity graphite material by its network of collaborative partners. Zenyatta plans to source the appropriate equipment required for a graphene manufacturing (exfoliation) process and also evaluate the associated costs for graphene production in a vertically integrated structure.
Zenyatta will continue to focus on advancing the Albany graphite deposit toward production and will supply consistent, high-quality graphite or graphene to its wholly owned subsidiary ZEN-tech Materials Ltd. in a vertically integrated structure. The formation of ZEN-tech is a strategic move that will provide a downstream vehicle to market, capture value and advance graphene application development separate from the mineral development company.
Zenyatta Ventures is developing the 100-per-cent-owned Albany graphite deposit situated in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. The deposit is a large and unique type of igneous-hosted, fluid-derived mineralization containing highly crystalline graphite in two adjacent breccia pipes. The deposit is situated 30 kilometres 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 50 kilometres away with an all-weather road approximately 10 km from the deposit.
Aubrey Eveleigh, PGeo, Zenyatta's president and chief executive officer, is the qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.
*Source: Applied Sciences Inc. and Future Markets Inc. (2017), table one: Graphene-mass-normalized price and nomenclature comparison in Graphene Magazine, April, 2017, issue No. 7, page 5.
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