Interview: Geology professor confirms Zenyatta’s graphite deposit is ‘special and rare’
March 14, 2014 — Dr. Andrew Conly, associate professor at the Department of Geology at Lakehead University, spoke to Tracy Weslosky, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of InvestorIntel, about the unique Albany deposit in central Ontario, being developed by Zenyatta Ventures (TSXV: ZEN | OTCQX: ZENYF). Dr. Conly has advised Zenyatta since 2011 and the Government of Canada has awarded a collaborative research grant through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (‘NSERC’) to assist Dr. Andrew Conly’s study of the Albany deposit. Zenyatta was also recently granted support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program for metallurgical testing.
Dr. Conly observed, “The Albany deposit is what we call a ‘breccia’ graphite deposit; to the best of my knowledge, there’s nothing else out there. This is a potential world-class deposit; it is unique in terms of its geological simplicity and how it’s formed; it is unique compared to any other graphite deposit.” The research at the Albany hydrothermal deposit will help to create the first genetic model for this special variety of graphite.
The importance of the Albany deposit’s characteristics for investors, who may not be geologists, is that it has a very high carbon graphitic content; in other words, it is pure enough to compete with synthetic graphite. Dr. Conly confirms that Zenyatta’s target customers are the ones who have, until recently, had no alternative to synthetic graphite. “That’s the market they would be going after, replacing the synthetic graphite market with a natural occurring, high grade, high purity natural graphite. When you look at it, the benefits of that are phenomenal; is that it’s cheaper to produce natural graphite….So far the processing has been highly successful in getting a nice high-grade, pure product with minimal cost and minimal detrimental environmental effects.” Indeed, compared to synthetic graphite, which is a petroleum by-product with “astronomical” costs to process, the graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit is difficult to beat.
Dr. Conly adds that most graphite deposits involve amorphous or flake type, and that they are making many efforts to show that graphite companies are trying to show how their graphite could be purified to reach Zenyatta’s purity. However, that would require more refining and may still lack the quality of Zenyatta’s deposit. Quality and purity are very important to the targeted end users in the green technology and clean-tech sectors. The Albany deposit’s purity, therefore, allows Zenyatta to set ambitious sales targets, lithium-ion batteries, pebble nuclear reactors, solar power capacitors, wind power generators and graphene. Dr. Conly suggests that the very uniqueness of the Albany deposit has compelled Zenyatta to perform a lot of ‘homework’ to provide investor confidence. He says “that’s something they’ve done from their academic studies with me to all their testing and their product and they have taken a very systematic approach to ensure what they’re saying is backed up by sound science…and investors in today’s climate still seem weary, but you have a company that is really doing its homework to ensure that this will go to development”. For investors, this means that Zenyatta’s graphite will command high prices.
Disclaimer: Zenyatta Ventures is an advertorial sponsor for InvestorIntel.
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