THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/25/13 -- Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. ("Zenyatta" or "Company") (TSX VENTURE: ZEN) is pleased to announce the following significant results from a third series of beneficiation tests conducted at SGS Canada Inc. ("Lakefield") on core samples from its 100% owned Albany graphite deposit. The entire 170 metre graphite zone from drill hole 5 was used for this testing.
All trials using a simple caustic baking leach process conclusively demonstrated that an ultra-high purity graphite product with greater than 99.97% Carbon ("C") can be produced from the Albany graphite deposit. The process was successfully applied to a variety of graphite concentrate samples that had initial carbon grades in the range of 46 - 90% using conventional flotation techniques. In all trials the final purity values were greater than 99.97% C and up to 99.99% C in many cases, regardless of initial carbon grades.
Aubrey Eveleigh, President and CEO stated, "Achieving these ultra-high purity carbon values at such an early stage from a simple and relatively inexpensive process is extraordinary. The graphite purification process is effective across a wide range of initial concentrate grades and particle sizes, producing ultra-high purity graphite with good recoveries. This is a very significant development for the Albany deposit and shows how easily the graphite material can be purified."
Under the guidance of Don Hains, P.Geo, MBA, an industrial minerals and marketing specialist, the Company now intends to provide a 5 tonne mini bulk sample to Lakefield from core samples to scale up and optimize the process in the coming weeks. It is very important to note that there was no mixing of the graphite slurry during all the scoping tests. The use of a mixer (rotary kiln) would greatly improve the mass and heat transfer of the reaction, and would likely result in reaching these ultra-high purity levels quicker and with even better NaOH utilization. The initial flow sheet developed for the process is relatively simple, utilizes known equipment, and provides for recovery of the caustic soda. Studies are also underway to characterize the properties of the purified graphite for selected market applications. A photo of the ultra-high purity graphite product can be viewed on the website.
These latest purity results are further confirmation of earlier mineralogical and beneficiation studies that showed the Albany graphite material to be of high quality and containing insignificant amounts of impurities. The ability to produce a natural graphite product, equivalent in purity to the highest grade synthetic graphite, using low-cost conventional processing techniques will allow Zenyatta to target the growing market in high value-added graphite applications. With growing global interest in the Albany graphite deposit, Zenyatta will continue to discuss the merits of the project with end-users and potential strategic partners.
Natural graphite material has varying levels of quality depending on the type (vein, flake or amorphous). The degree of purity can vary greatly, which heavily influences the use of the material in applications and its pricing. Carbon purity of natural graphite can generally range from 70.0% all the way to 99.0%, whereas synthetic graphite is usually greater than 99.0%. Given the ultra-high purity at Zenyatta's Albany project, the Company will be positioning the material to compete in the $13 billion (1.5 million tonnes annually) synthetic market.
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