Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. has announced that the next phase to test a concrete admixture containing graphene is progressing through their Collaboration Agreement with Larisplast Ltd. (“Larisplast”), an Israeli business that specializes in the field of concrete admixtures. The 10 kg market sample of high-purity graphite that was sent to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel (“BGU”) will allow for the testing and optimization of a much larger volume of concrete which could be in a range between 5 and 10 tonnes. Zenyatta and Larisplast have both received grant funding from the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation under the Ontario-Israel Collaboration.
The main objective of this pilot plant is to further test a much larger volume of concrete utilizing an admixture containing Albany derived graphene (See attached image). The scientific and engineering data obtained will yield valuable information for potentially designing a larger scale demonstration plant. In 2016 BGU demonstrated that the addition of the Company’s graphene into concrete can achieve a faster curing time and a superior mechanical performance that inhibits premature failure and tolerates large forces like those produced during earthquakes or explosions. Also, this new admixture has the potential to reduce the amount of cement that will be used in construction, thereby considerably cutting carbon dioxide emissions related to its production.
Aubrey Eveleigh, President and CEO stated, “We are pleased to be in the next stage of testing to demonstrate the viability of this exciting technology to enhance concrete properties with nano-graphite derived from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit. This initiative represents an important new and valuable target market for Albany graphite as the potential market size for a new concrete admixture with superior qualities is extremely large.”
In November 2016 Zenyatta delivered 10 kilograms of high-purity Albany graphite to BGU that has now been converted to graphene for optimization and testing. BGU will first test the graphene and then the material will be supplied to Larisplast for testing as a concrete admixture. The testwork will include the following:
- BGU will perform a variety of quality control measurements;
- BGU will run a series of dispersion experiments on Zenyatta’s graphene;
- Larisplast and BGU will employ the optimized procedure using scaled-up infrastructure;
- The optimized graphene dispersion will then be incorporated into concrete composites;
- The produced graphene reinforced concrete will be tested for both short and long term strength and compressive and flexural stresses;
- Larisplast will adjust and optimize the scaled-up process.
Larisplast is an industry leader in Israel specializing in the field of concrete admixtures. The company develops, produces, markets and distributes high-quality products and materials for the Israel concrete industry according to strict Israeli’s standards. Larisplast operates on a nationwide basis in Israel and is currently developing international markets and distribution channels.
Zenyatta is developing the Albany Graphite Deposit situated in northeastern Ontario, Canada. The deposit is a unique type of igneous-hosted, fluid-derived graphite mineralization contained in two large breccia pipes. The Company is seeking end users for their graphite and graphene and is working with several collaborative partners including the development of a graphene enhanced concrete. Other potential markets for graphite include Lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and powder metallurgy. The application for graphitic material is constantly evolving due to its unique chemical, electrical and thermal properties. It maintains its stability and strength under temperatures in excess of 3,000°C and is very resistant to chemical corrosion. It is also one of the lightest of all reinforcing elements and has high natural lubricating abilities. The outlook for the global graphite market is very promising with demand growing rapidly from new applications. It is now considered one of the more strategic elements by many leading industrial nations, particularly for its growing importance in high technology manufacturing and in the emerging “green” industries such as electric vehicle components.
The Albany graphite deposit is situated 30 km north of the Trans-Canada Highway, power line and natural gas pipeline near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. A rail line is located 70 km away with an all-weather road approximately 10 km from the graphite deposit. The world trend is to develop products for technological applications that need extraordinary performance using ultra-high purity graphite powder at an affordable cost. Albany graphite can be upgraded with very good crystallinity without the use of aggressive acids (hydrofluoric) or high temperature thermal treatment therefore having an environmental advantage over other types of upgraded high-purity graphite material.
Mr. Aubrey Eveleigh, P.Geo., Zenyatta’s President and CEO, is the “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.