Canadian explorer Green Battery Minerals (TSXV: GEM; US-OTC: GBMIF) is focused on advancing its flagship Berkwood graphite project in northern Quebec, about 285 km north of Baie-Comeau.
Graphite is a critical mineral that makes up most of the anode in the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and energy storage technologies.
“With electric vehicle demand set to soar over the next several years, Bloomberg has forecast demand for graphite to increase by up to 500% over this period,” says Tom Yingling, Green Battery Minerals’ president and CEO. “By providing a world-class supply of high-quality graphite, Berkwood is perfectly positioned to be part of the global effort to transition to clean energy.”
The property, which hosts high-grade, large-flake graphite at surface, also benefits from its location, Yingling said, with Quebec “considered to be one of the top mining jurisdictions in the word.”
Berkwood has “excellent infrastructure, including paved roads that provide year-round access, is close to rail lines and a supply of low-carbon hydropower, and the port at Baie-Comeau on the St. Lawrence River allows us to ship graphite products to markets in North America and Europe,” he said. “It also benefits greatly from a skilled local workforce and access to heavy industries and services.”
Graphite is also considered one of 22 critical and strategic minerals by the Government of Quebec. Last year, the provincial government released the Quebec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals 2020-2025. The plan aims to make the province a leader in producing, transforming, and recycling critical and strategic minerals and, among other things, provides financial support for exploration projects within the region that are focused on these minerals.
A 2019 mineral resource for Berkwood estimated 1.76 million indicated tonnes grading 17% graphite for 299,200 tonnes contained graphite and inferred resources of 1.53 million tonnes grading 16.4% graphite for 250,200 tonnes of graphite.
According to Yingling, this resource only includes Zone 1 — one of 12 zones showing surface graphite identified to date. “So far, only about 20% of this zone has been explored and remains open to the north and east.”
Metallurgical testing of samples confirmed that the property hosts some of the highest purity (at 97.8% graphite) and some of the largest graphite flakes in the world, he said. This material, he added, can be easily purified to 99.95% graphite, the purity required by lithium-ion battery manufacturers.
These characteristics “allow the graphite to be processed using a low-cost and straightforward purification process that minimises the use of hazardous materials, making it a potential new source of inexpensive and environmentally-sustainable battery-grade graphite,” Yingling said.
Since acquiring Berkwood in 2016, Green Battery Minerals has conducted geophysical surveying and surface sampling and drilled 44 holes on the project, all of which intersected graphite.
In 2020, surface sampling on Zones 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 returned grab samples grading up to 55.8% graphite and channel samples of up to 32.12% graphite.
“We were delighted with these assays, in particular those from Zone 6, which demonstrated that it was a strong candidate for drilling and inclusion in our hub and spoke graphite production model for the project,” said Yingling. “The results also confirmed that there remains substantial exploration potential along strike at Zone 1.”
The company now plans to undertake up to 5,000 metres of drilling. The drilling is scheduled to start in the next couple of weeks and will focus on Zone 1 and Zone 6, about 30 km north of Zone 1.
“All of the drilling is low-risk step-out drilling designed to add to the already established resource at Zone 1,” said Yingling. “A large geophysical anomaly on Zone 6, similar to that identified on Zone 1, suggests that it could also significantly add to the current resource.”
The preceding Joint Venture Article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by GREEN BATTERY MINERALS and produced in co-operation with Canadian Mining Journal. Visit www.greenbatteryminerals.com for more information.