Zenyatta Ventures Ltd.: Former ConocoPhillips Manager of Graphite Materials Joins ZEN Team as VP Market Development
November 19, 2013 (Source: Marketwired) — Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (“Zenyatta” or “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:ZEN) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Bharat Chahar to position of VP Market Development with responsibility for advancing marketing opportunities for the unique High Purity graphite products from the Company’s 100 percent owned Albany Deposit located in northeastern Ontario, Canada.
Bharat Chahar, Ph.D. is a chemical engineer with more than 30 years of carbon research and development experience with ConocoPhillips based in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chahar obtained a B.Tech. (Chemical Engineering) from Indian Institute of Technology at Delhi, INDIA; a M.Sc. (Chemical Engineering) from University of Alberta, Edmonton, CANADA and a Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering) from Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA.
From 2002 to 2013 Dr. Chahar was Global Marketing and Product Manager for CPREME® Graphite Materials at ConocoPhillips and Phillips 66. He led the creation and development of this new business to produce and supply graphite anode material for Lithium-ion batteries. At the time, CPREME® graphite was the largest North American based supplier of anode materials for Lithium-ion batteries with customers across the three major continents – North America, Europe and Asia. As the leader of this business since its inception, he was responsible for all aspects of starting this endeavor including strategic direction for marketing, sales, research & development, intellectual property and manufacturing scale-up. The CPREME® graphite anode material was considered the benchmark by leading manufacturers in the Lithium-ion batteries for high power batteries such as those needed for the automotive market. The CPREME® graphite business was able to achieve the premier status in the industry despite the fact that the Lithium-ion battery manufacturers and their suppliers were largely based in Asia and ConocoPhillips had no market presence until 2006.
From 1998 to 2002 Dr. Chahar was Manager of Carbon Business and Director of Carbon Products Development at CONOCO Inc. This position focused on Conoco’s efforts to develop new carbon products and manage development of heavy oil upgrading technologies. In this assignment, he was responsible for developing and implementing strategy for growing Conoco’s new carbon product portfolio and extending carbon capabilities.
At the Carbon Products Development group he was responsible for providing technology support for the Global Specialty Coke business and developing new carbon products. The group consisted of about 25 scientists and technicians with variety of backgrounds. He also worked with the Carbon Fibers Business team to find synergistic opportunities to market fibers with other carbon products. Dr. Chahar also led the effort to evaluate and recommend steps to successfully commercialize a new upgrading technology at Conoco’s joint venture in Venezuela. He also led efforts to develop strategic enterprises in the areas of Hydrocarbon Processing and Heavy Oil Technologies encompassing both Upstream and Downstream aspects of the heavy oil value-chain.
Phillips 66 (formerly ConocoPhillips and Conoco) is the largest global producer of petroleum needle coke and is the only manufacturer with two production facilities; a plant in South Killingholme, UK and a plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. Phillips 66’s two plants represent the majority of world petroleum needle coke capacity which is used to make ultra-high purity synthetic graphite for various applications.
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Dr. Bharat Chahar will continue to be based in Houston, Texas and will manage further testing of the unique Albany graphite material and characterize it for various high value applications. He will develop the value proposition for these applications based on a cost-benefit analysis and continue downstream processing needed to realize the value. Dr. Chahar will continue discussions with interested parties and develop new relationships with downstream companies to create appeal for the ultra-high purity material while the graphite deposit is being developed. He will also oversee global efforts in strategic marketing and new product development.
Dr. Bharat Chahar stated, “Having carefully reviewed the Albany graphite data available, I am convinced that Zenyatta has a resource with excellent potential for high value carbon applications. It is a special natural graphite deposit unlike any other that I’ve seen in the industry. I am thrilled and excited to be part of a top-notch ZEN team to help bring this unique graphite product to the market. In my experience, if you offer a better product with an obvious advantage, the world will beat a path to your door.”
The world trend is to develop products for technological applications that need extraordinary performance using ultra-high purity graphite powder at an affordable cost. High purity is gaining prominence at a time when Zenyatta discovered a very rare (hydrothermal) graphite deposit, which can be upgraded to 99.99% carbon with very good crystallinity without the use of aggressive acids and high thermal treatment.
Aubrey Eveleigh, President and CEO stated, “We are very pleased to attract a professional of Bharat’s caliber and global graphite network to our existing management team. Dr. Chahar is a business-savvy individual with a strong technology background and a passion for materials and specialty products. He is very familiar with end use applications for high purity graphite in the cleantech sector and will be instrumental during ongoing discussions with end users. His qualifications and experience are very impressive and will be invaluable to Zenyatta as we advance our ultra-high purity carbon product for potential use in high-tech applications.”
Zenyatta continues to develop its Albany (Hydrothermal) Graphite Deposit located in northeastern Ontario, Canada. The Company’s graphite deposit is located 30km 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 70 km away with an all-weather road approximately 4-5 km from the graphite deposit. The deposit is near surface, underneath glacial till overburden and a thin veneer of Paleozoic sedimentary cover rocks.
The outlook for the global graphite market is very promising with demand growing rapidly from new applications. It is now considered one of the more strategic elements by many leading industrial nations, particularly for its growing importance in high technology manufacturing and in the emerging “green” industries such as electric vehicle components. The application for graphitic material is constantly evolving due to its unique chemical, electrical and thermal properties. It maintains its stability and strength under temperatures in excess of 3,300°C and is very resistant to chemical corrosion. It is also one of the lightest of all reinforcing elements and has high natural lubricating abilities. Some of these key physical and chemical properties make it critical to modern industry.
The Company also announces the grant of 200,000 stock options to Dr. Bharat Chahar pursuant to the terms of the Stock Option Plan. The options are exercisable at a price of $2.87 per share for a period of 2 years from the date of grant.
Mr. Aubrey Eveleigh, P.Geo., Zenyatta’s President and CEO, is the “Qualified Person” under National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release may contain forward looking information and Zenyatta cautions readers that forward looking information is based on certain assumptions and risk factors exist that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations of Zenyatta included in this news release. This news release includes certain “forward-looking statements”, which often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as “believes”, “anticipates”, “expects”, “estimates”, “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, or “plan”. These statements are based on information currently available to Zenyatta and Zenyatta provides no assurance that actual results will meet management’s expectations. Forward-looking statements include estimates and statements with respect to Zenyatta’s future plans, objectives or goals, to the effect that Zenyatta or management expects a stated condition or result to occur, including the expected timing for release of sample analyses and a resource estimate, the expected uses for graphite in the future, and the future uses of the graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit. Since forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results relating to, among other things, results of exploration, project development, reclamation and capital costs of Zenyatta’s mineral properties, and Zenyatta’s financial condition and prospects, could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements for many reasons such as: changes in general economic conditions and conditions in the financial markets; changes in demand and prices for minerals; litigation, legislative, environmental and other judicial, regulatory, political and competitive developments; technological and operational difficulties encountered in connection with Zenyatta’s activities; and other matters discussed in this news release and in filings made with securities regulators. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. Zenyatta does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by Zenyatta or on its behalf, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
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