Dr. Francis Dube reports
ZENYATTA'S ALBANY GRAPHITE TAILINGS SHOW PROMISE AS CEMENT REPLACEMENT
Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. has provided an update on its process development work for the Albany graphite project. In addition to its continuing metallurgical test work program being carried out at SGS Canada Inc., studies are being conducted on the tailings material generated from processing the Albany graphite mineralization for potential application as a partial cement replacement material. This work is being conducted by Dr. Ahmad Rteil at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus (UBC-O). Dr. Rteil reports that, based on an initial review of Albany tailings chemistry, this material would meet both CSA and ASTM standards as a potential partial cement replacement in concrete. If this is confirmed, it will have positive implications for project economics by reducing costs for tailings disposal and creating a potential byproduct revenue stream.
The concept for using the Albany graphite tailings material as a potential cement replacement arose from discussions with Dr. Rteil in the context of the company's market development work for graphene applications in concrete. After a review of technical data on the Albany tailings provided by the company, Dr. Rteil observed that the tailings' chemical and physical properties are consistent with the requirements for it to be used in concrete. In order to confirm this, the company has delivered two drums of tailings material (from both the East Pipe and the West Pipe) to Dr. Rteil's laboratory for further evaluation. Test work is now under way which includes 90-day strength measurements on concrete made with tailings used as cement replacement and results are expected within four months.
Metallurgical test work update
The company also confirms that the metallurgical test work program for the Albany graphite deposit has now been completed. While Zenyatta is awaiting the final report from SGS, recent test results reported support the conclusions described in the company's news release dated July 16, 2018. These include achieving a purity of around 99.8 per cent, an overall recovery of approximately 90 per cent with lower energy and reagent consumption and more efficient recycling of the leach solutions when compared with the original process developed for the 2015 PEA. Additionally, the new process further derisks commercial implementation.
The most recent work, conducted at the SGS Lakefield facility, is a continuation of a program which was initiated in 2017. The main purpose of this work was to determine the effect of the recycling process streams within an integrated process which includes two stages of purification and removal of impurities from leach solutions. Previous work had only tested each of the unit operations in isolation. Moving forward, this process will be used on the company's upcoming bulk sample to produce high-purity graphite product which will be used as the precursor material for scaling up graphene production using both mechanical and chemical exfoliation methods. The graphene produced and derivative products will be used for market development and price discovery purposes.
Peter Wood, PEng, PGeo, and James Jordan, PEng, are the qualified persons for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 who have reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release. SGS performed analyses of all purified Albany graphite samples by direct ash analysis using a platinum crucible, according to a validated method that also accurately quantifies key trace level impurities by subsequent inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry analysis.
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