Standard Graphite Corp. (‘Standard’, TSX VENTURE: SGH) has started work at its Mousseau East Property in Quebec, which it acquired in April 2012. Mousseau East is located some 50 km from Timcal Canada Lac-des-Iles active Graphite Mine. Standard’s strategy in acquiring the Mousseau East property was to ease the preparation of a NI 43-101 resource through an upgrade of the historical non-compliant resource and with additional targeted exploration of the resource accelerating the path toward production. The property saw much work done by Graphicor, which explored it in the 1980’s and 1990’s allowing Standard to benefit from the previous work done at the property.
Standard is focusing its activities in areas with proven graphite potential in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The launch of activity at Mousseau East is part of a wider, and aggressive, company strategy aimed at diversifying the prospecting areas, such that it does not have to rely on one project alone to secure an important find; it has a many possibilities. Standard is interested in targeting primarily open pit mines and in late march Standard announced the completion of an EM survey of its Black Donald property (located 140km. east of Ottawa, ON.) presenting conductors with patterns that similar to those featured at the Black Donald Mine, which produced highly pure large flake graphite from 1895 to 1950. It should be noted that graphite mines are typically not very large, and a mine producing quantities approaching 40,000 tons a year can be qualified as large. Therefore, in view of projected demand for graphite from sources beyond China in the coming years, many more graphite mines will be needed.
Standard has also secured the rights to launch a diamond drilling program, aiming to update the historic data to a new NI 43-101 compliant resource. Standard Graphite is becoming one of the major North American pure-play graphite exploration companies, controlling 100% interest in 13 graphite properties in both Quebec and Ontario.
Standard’s strategy of focusing on a variety of areas showing high potential for a large find of high purity large flake graphite (the type that is in highest demand) offers interesting opportunities for graphite investors. Graphite is going to promote the advancement of clean energy technology through new battery technology, super capacitors for wind turbines, and pebble bed nuclear reactors (among other things). Flake graphite is highly in demand in the current market and process has seen a fivefold increase from USD$ 500/ton in the past decade t the current USD$ 2,500/ton (for the +80 micron large flake needed for Li-ion batteries). The steepest prices have increased over the past two years. The combination of tighter supplies from China (until recently supplying 70% of the market) presents an opportunity for emerging graphite producers such as Standard Graphite.