Graphite Corp., the Elko, Nevada-based junior focused on developing the choice, large-flake graphite for which North America is well-known via the company's now sizeable holdings in Alabama and Montana (both very mining-friendly states), announced today that they have successfully expanded their land position in Montana at the Crystal Mine site (consisting of a 25-year renewable minerals lease agreement, including 3% net smelter royalty, on 100 acres in Beaverhead County).
The company has added some 1,600 acres (83 claims) of adjacent territory on BLM ground. This gives GRPH a contiguous lode mineral claim position on a historically proven (last worked in the 40′s) site which has produced high-quality product like vein graphite (Ceylon or Sri Lankan quality), only softer and with thin iron-oxide films. The raw ores from this site showed 8 to 12 percent graphite content with the mill concentrates averaging as much as 85 to 90 percent.
The now roughly 1,700-acre position was subject to a preliminary study concurrent with the recent claim staking and that study has validated the graphite presence, both in stockpiles of historically produced ore and in outcrops on the property. The study has further validated the primary trend in which pegmatite vein and fracture coating graphite mineralization occurs, offering a clear map for the projected exploration program.
Taking extant data into account alongside the preliminary study, GRPH will be looking to get a handle on the full scope of the mineralization in an early stage production feasibility study, while vetting additional acreage in this extremely prospective site, which sits off towards the southern end of the largely BLM-owned Ruby Range. The kind of vein-type, coarse flake, lump, and "needle" lump graphite in abundance here along a clear vein deformation pattern is seeing huge demand curves from lithium ion batteries and a variety of other high-tech and industrial applications, with the low end of the market for amorphous graphite topping out around $550/tonne and large-flake fetching as much as $2,500/tonne (with the highest qualities, like the coarse-grained lump graphite mostly produced by artisanal efforts in Sri Lanka ranging up to $10k/tonne).
Graphite has been surging up and beyond 2008 highs in recent years on strong demand from growing end markets, and with China (over 75% of global production) consolidating the tightening supply metrics of both production and export, this spells massive upside for adroit juniors who can deliver the kind of large-flake, carbon rich graphite most desired. After all, the majority of Chinese graphite is low-grade amorphous and the graphite space as a whole is priced by flake size and carbon content. Thus, amid tightening export controls and output down scaling from China, the kind of large-flake (+80 mesh or 150 micron), 94% to 97% CG (carbon as graphite) or greater graphite domestically available is set to pop as demand outstrips supply and junior's like GRPH stand to make a killing for their shareholders in the process.
President of GRPH, Brian Goss was obviously pleased at the considerable expansion of the company's footprint in an exciting property like this and tipped his hat to shareholders, pointing out how the aggressive acquisition of these 100% controlled mineral claims was clearly indicative of the company's overall exploration strategy. Goss noted how this acquisition secures the most important land positions in the area and assured investors that the company was eagerly planning to stitch up remaining potential as per their regional strategy. Confidence is high at GRPH that due diligence and a continued aggressiveness towards securing what is seen as a potentially significant contiguous graphite prospective resource, will result in a regional platform land position that is highly accretive to shareholder ROI.
For more information on Graphite Corp., visit Graphite-Corp.com
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