Top Canadian graphite stocks ...................................................
Drilling in Slocan Graphite is scheduled to begin at end of August pending on issuance of permit
Top Canadian graphite stocks
1. NextSource Materials (TSX:NEXT)
NextSource Materials is a strategic materials development company that is working on bringing its Madagascar-based Molo graphite project into production. Molo is the only project with SuperFlake graphite, and construction is currently underway at the asset, with commissioning set for mid-2022.
Shares of NextSource soared to their highest level in 2021 on February 16, reaching C$4.80. Six days prior, the company entered into a binding agreement for a US$29.5 million financing package with Vision Blue Resources, a private investment firm run by Sir Mick Davis, formerly of Xstrata. NextSource said at the time that the funds would be used to bring Molo into full production. The company was active through 2021, and most recently said in mid-December that fabrication and assembly of the processing plant for Phase 1 at Molo has been completed.
2. Graphite One (TSXV:GPH)
Graphite One is focused on becoming a US producer of high-grade coated spherical graphite primarily for the lithium-ion EV battery market. The company plans to develop its Graphite Creek deposit, located in Alaska, into a vertically integrated operation, and is aiming to begin a prefeasbility study for the property in Q1 2022.
In a press release highlighting its 2021 activities, Graphite One states that among other achievements, it raised over C$30 million, completed a drill program and moved forward with research and development efforts related to multiple advanced graphite materials. Its highest 2021 share price came on November 18 at C$2.39.
3. South Star Battery Metals (TSXV:STS)
South Star Battery Metals is focused on acquiring and developing battery metals projects in the Americas with near-term production potential. The company's main asset is its Santa Cruz graphite project in Brazil, where large-scale pilot plant testing has been successfully completed. South Star is aiming to reach Phase 1 production at the property in the fourth quarter of 2022, pending financing.
Shares of South peaked at C$0.35 on November 12, not long after the company agreed to key terms for a proposed earn-in agreement for the Ceylon graphite project in Alabama. The deal became binding in early December, and South Star now has the right to earn a 75 percent stake in Ceylon from current owners Hexagon Energy Materials (ASX:HXG) and US Critical Minerals. Further details were released in mid-December.
4. Northern Graphite (TSXV:NGC)
Northern Graphite describes itself as a mineral development and technology company. Its main asset is the Bissett Creek graphite project in Ontario, which is an advanced-stage project with a full feasibility study and major mining permit. According to an independent study cited by Northern Graphite, Bissett Creek will have the highest margin of any existing or proposed graphite deposit.
Shares of Northern Graphite hit a 2021 high of C$0.88 on November 29, several days before the company signed binding purchase and sale agreements to acquire two graphite assets from Imerys Group: the producing Lac des Iles graphite mine in Quebec, and the Okanjande graphite deposit/Okorusu processing plant in Namibia. The transaction will make Northern Graphite the only North American and the world’s third largest non-Chinese graphite-producing company. Further information was provided in a December 30 update.
5. Focus Graphite (TSXV:FMS)
Focus Graphite Inc is an exploration stage company. The company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral properties in Canada. Its projects include Lac Knife; Lac Tetepisca graphite and Lac Guinecourt graphite property.
6. Gratomic (TSXV:GRAT)
Exploration and mining company Gratomic has two graphite projects: its flagship Aukam property located in Namibia, and its Buckingham project in Quebec, Canada.
Gratomic has two offtake deals for Aukam, which covers a historical vein graphite mine, and the company is solidifying plans to micronize and spheronize graphite from the asset. It plans to start fulfilling its two contracts in 2022, which is also when it expects to achieve full operational capabilities at Aukam.
The company's share price reached its 2021 peak of C$1.76 on March 31. Gratomic released a slew of news around that time, but March 31 was the day it revealed plans to build a pilot processing facility and said it would be entering into a cooperative agreement with Forge Nano. Gratomic said Forge would help plan and develop the processing facility, and complete atomic layer deposition on graphitic material provided by Gratomic.
Adding to the above list of graphite explorers is a new comer
Aben Resources (TSXV:ABN)
Slocan graphite project, 34 Km northwest of Castlegar, British Columbia
In November, 2021 Aben executed a formal option agreement with Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. for exclusive right to earn a 100% interest in the Slocan Graphite Project located 34km northwest of Castlegar, British Columbia. The Slocan Graphite project consists of 2,387 hactre (23.87 square kilometer) hosting several large flake graphite-bearing outcrops and float occurrences known as the Tedesco Zone, which is interpreted to extend over 2 km.
Graphite is a naturally occurring form of carbon and is an excellent conductor of both electricity and heat. It is becoming increasingly important as a critical strategic component in advancing alternative energy solutions including wind and solar power, hybrid vehicles and other alternative energy uses. It is also a mainstay of the steel production industry. Canada is currently ranked as the 5th largest supplier of graphite.
Graphite mineralization is hosted primarily in carbonate and calc-silicate lithologies within the Passmore Dome of the Valhalla Metamorphic Complex, a geologic setting consistent with a crystalline flake graphite deposit model. Previous operators have estimated the mineralized horizon to be up to 50m thick, however cite that it is difficult to determine due to a lack of surface exposure. The horizon has never been tested by diamond drilling.
Past workers in the area concluded: “Although the graphite occurrences at Tedesco are in the early stages of exploration, geological, assay, and geophysical data indicate significant potential to form an economic deposit” (BC Assessment Report 26537). Eagle Plains geologists are of the opinion that the high-quality, large flake character of the graphite mineralization found to date, spatial extent of conductivity from a 2010 airborne electromagnetic (“EM”) survey, minimal historic exploration activity, excellent proximity to infrastructure and the favorable economic outlook for graphite as a strategic commodity make Slocan Graphite a compelling project for continued exploration and a potentially significant component of Eagle Plain’s broad and varied portfolio of exploration projects. The project is consistent with EPL’s policy of identifying and acquiring undervalued exploration projects during cyclical downturns within a particular commodity space.
The Slocan Graphite Project benefits from excellent infrastructure including a high-voltage transmission line within 1.2 km of the property boundaries, an extensive network of forestry roads on and around the property, and an existing graphite processing plant and facilities located 1.5 km west of the property, owned by Eagle Graphite Corporation.
Western North America's only flake graphite quarry
The processing plant has historically operated at a throughput rate of 20 tonnes of feed per hour, a rate roughly equivalent to an annual output of 4,000 tonnes of high carbon natural flake graphite. The facility is strategically located close to the US city of Spokane, Washington and the Canadian port of Vancouver, British Columbia, Eagle Graphite offers efficient and economical shipping of high grade material to destinations worldwide.
If the Slocan Graphite will be commercially economical as conferred by geologists of Eagle Plains Resources and local workers, Aben will be selling it to US and Canada EV industry through Eagle Graphite Corporation's processing facilities and at minimum graphite price of $1,000 per tonne, it will generate annual revenue of $4 million for Aben.
Graphite has long established itself as the dominant anode material in commercial lithium-ion batteries. Graphite market was valued at US$137.3 million in 2020 and is projected to reach $219.6 million by 2027 at a CAGR of 6.9%. Every million electric vehicle require around 75,000 tonnes of natural graphite. In 2020, spherical graphite demand in China alone was 240,000 tonnes, demand for graphite is forecasted increasing to 1.9 million tonnes by 2028 and 4.5 million metric tonnes by 2050, according to World Bank data released in 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reached a similar conclusion, estimating that global graphite production would have to increase 25-fold by 2040 to meet demand projections.
2017 BC Government Geological Survey Assessment Report 37398 in the Slocan Graphite region
(It is a very long report which takes time to load, so be patient)
(Excerpt from Page 18 to 20 of above Report: Minerals found in the Slocan Graphite property)
The BCGS Mineral Deposit Model for Crystalline Flake Graphite (PO4: Simandl and Kenan, 1996) is interpreted to “... describe a geological setting ... identical to the Tedesco graphite deposits. Although in the early stages of exploration, geological, assay, and geophysical data indicate significant potential to identify an economic deposit. The host rocks (Units 2, 3) form conspicuous rusty graphitic gneiss with interbedded 5-10 metre thick graphitic marble layers. Average thickness of the mineralized section is unknown at this time, but the pattern of outcrops and float indicate that it may be 50 metres thick. Graphitic outcrops have been found for more than 2 kilometres across the grid, and a broad area of float occurrences of identical material can be traced on strike for a significant distance.
Seven assay samples of altered graphitic surface material were analysed using the CANMET recommended procedures. Assays varied up to 3.5% Carbon / Graphite, low-grade but with large crystalline graphite flakes. The geophysical surveys tend to support the overall trend and dimensions as given. Fraser-Filtered VLF-EM data consistently shows anomalous conductive zones and magnetometer anomalies associated with the graphitic outcrops and the hanging wall of the deposit. Pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite are known to occur within this sequence as stratiform layers or disseminations, and are the probable cause of several spot high geophysical readings.
Petrographic examination of samples Jgr-5 and Jgr-8 shows these rocks to be pyroxenebearing quartz monzonite or monzodiorite gneiss composed of calcic plagioclase (labradorite), clinopyroxene (diopside), K-feldspar, quartz, and phlogopite or muscovite, with accessory pyrrhotite, graphite, sphene, apatite, pyrite, and rare sphalerite and chalcopyrite: carbonate is virtually absent. Graphite is slightly more abundant at location Jgr-8 than Jgr-5 (Leitch, 2000).
The Tedesco graphite deposits are fortunate to have a large nearby graphite deposit under development at IMP mining’s (now owned by Eagle Graphite Corp.) Black Crystal graphite deposit on Hoder Creek. The IMP graphite test mill is located a few kilometres west of the property boundary. Regionally, the sequence of rocks present on the Tedesco grid has been correlated with the Rinda Ridge composite unit of Schaubs and Carr (1998) which hosts the inferred 88 million tonne Black Crystal flake graphite deposit, grading 4- 5% crystal graphite. Given the economic potential of the large Hoder Creek graphite deposit and the correlative geology, the Tedesco graphite occurrences are an important exploration target. …” (AR 26537). From May 16-29, 2012, a two person crew managed by John Demes completed prospecting for graphite on the southwest flank of Perry Ridge in an area covered by the current EPL tenure (AR33540 – Appendix C). Demes reported finding graphite-bearing float and outcrops all the way from about 850m elevation to about 1440m. A total of 20 samples were collected and analyzed for total carbon content (Figure 4). All rocks were “gneissic” containing 2-5% graphite. Outcrops strike east approximately AZ 270 with dips 64-88o (direction not stated).
A flat-lying garnetiferous pegmatite sill (Unit 4), varying from 30 to 50 centimetres in thickness, is exposed for 30 metres along a logging road on Tedesco grid (AR 33540). Handtrenching exposed at least four metres in width ... and the sill remains open in all directions. The garnetiferous sill is adjacent to a graphitic schist outcrop and a feldspar pegmatite sill, but the stratigraphic relationships are unclear due to shallow overburden cover.
Garnet occurs as irregularly distributed single crystals up to 10 centimetres in diameter and in crystalline masses up to 30 centimetres in width. The variety of garnet is almandine- pyrope of unknown proportions and the colour is described as an intense fiery red. The average weight content of garnet to host rock is approximately 10%, based on the recent bulk sample results. The large garnet crystals occasionally display a regrowth of garnet in a parasitic internal crystal of the same colour, and which is often more transparent than the host garnet.
Sample TGAR ... consists of coarse red garnet enclosed or encased in green biotite, in a matrix of quartz diorite (albite-oligoclase, quartz, K-feldspar). Fractures in this garnet are widely spaced (about l mm apart on average, with areas of lower density in some places, especially towards the core of the crystal). Inclusions of quartz, biotite, and plagioclase are common, but are mainly restricted to the margins of the crystals (Leitch, 2000). Minor amounts of graphite, pyrite and chalcopyrite are also locally present in the pegmatite host rock.
Aquamarine beryl crystals of gem grade were discovered on the greater Blu Starr property in 1995. Aqua crystals are a light green-blue colour and occur within a quartz-feldspar-muscovitetourmaline pegmatite dike with miarolitic cavities. The main occurrence (Peg 1; AR 33540) and other lesser occurrences are located near the southwest corner of the property on the Slocan 2 claim. The sinuous and irregular dike is exposed for about 10 metres along strike and 2 metres in width, and is hosted by quartz-feldspar-biotite gneiss.
Approximately 20-25 aquamarine crystals were extracted from the Peg 1 pegmatite dike in 1996. The crystals can reach 5 centimetres long by 1.5 centimetres in width (100-125 2017 carats), and contain clear areas that would produce 0.5 carat gemstones (Gauthier and Dixon, 1996). Smokey and clear quartz, schorl tourmaline, and garnet are also found in Peg 1. The Peg 1 dike outcrops approximately 100 metres uphill from an old logging road and could be explored with non-explosive extraction methods such as compressor and jackhammer.
Quartz-tourmaline pegmatite dikes are of relatively common occurrence throughout the property often associated with 110° azimuth-trending, narrow sub-vertical zones of folding and fracturing. Non-gem aquamarine beryl crystals up to 4 centimetres by 5 centimetres in size have been found in large pegmatite float blocks located on the talus slope near the south iolite showing (I2) on the Blu Starr / Iolite grid.
Several aquamarine-bearing dikes occur on the Blu Starr Property proximal to the BQ claims on the ridge between Cowie and Airy creeks. The BQ claims are entirely contained within the Blu Starr Property, and host blue-green aquamarine beryl, almandine-pyrope garnet and smoky quartz in miarolitic cavities in a tourmaline pegmatite dike. The largest aquamarine crystal discovered to date weighs 47.2 grams (236 carats), and the largest faceted aqua weighs 5.26
carats. Garnet from this deposit has also been faceted, and the largest stone cut to date weighs 4.04 carats.
Emerald is the grass-green variety of beryl, and has not been found yet in the Slocan area. Many of the known deposits of gem emerald around the world occur within very similar geological environments to the Valhalla complex. A conceptual model of a potential emerald deposit in the Silocan Valley requires proximity to major faulting and shearing, berylbearing pegmatites, and a geochemical source of chromium or vanadium such as ultrabasic rocks to create the emerald colour in the beryl crystals. This geological environment would also support the deposition of chrysoberyl. One of the varieties of chrysoberyl is better known as alexandrite, a rare and very expensive gemstone.