Energizer Resources Intersects 118.6 m of Graphite in Drill Core Grading 6.24% C, and 106 m at 7.11% C in Trench Sampling
Energizer Resources Inc. (TSX: EGZ) (OTCBB: ENZR) (FWB: YE5) (“Energizer” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce updated preliminary results from exploration programs on its Green Giant, and Malagasy Minerals Limited (“Malagasy”) (ASX: MGY) Joint Venture (JV) properties in Madagascar. Assays received to date from the Phase I exploration program, have yielded drill intersections assaying up to 6.24% carbon (C) over 118.6 metres in length, and trench assays up to 7.11% C over 106 metres in length. Reconnaissance exploration work conducted by Malagasy Minerals has identified disseminated to massive graphite on the JV property assaying up to 71.94% C. Highlights of the updated exploration findings are as follows, with a complete summary of assays provided by clicking here.
Green Giant Property
- Drill core intersection of 6.24% C over 118.6 metres
- Empirical confirmation that graphite mineralization extends to surface through trenching
- Trench assay results ranging as high as 19.06% C, with intersections up to 7.11% over 106 metres
- Identification of shear hosted disseminated to massive graphite mineralization >330 metres in length, and open along strike
- Grab sample assays to 71.94% C
- Identification of graphite flakes to 6 mm through mineralogic analysis
Assay Results Support the Development of a Graphite Camp
Energizer’s 2011 Phase I and Phase II exploration programs were designed to delineate new graphitic trends in southern Madagascar, and to empirically test them in preparation for a resource delineation program planned for the spring of 2012. The analytical results received to date, cover only a fifth of surficial grab samples, a quarter of diamond drill core, and roughly two thirds of trench samples sent for graphitic carbon analysis, but are of a sufficient tenor for the Company to believe they validate the potential of delineating a flake graphite camp in southern Madagascar.
118.6 Metres of Graphite Mineralization Intersected in Drill Core from the Fondrana Zone
The Company has not yet received a complete set of assay results from its Phase I exploration program conducted over the Green Giant Property in September, 2011. The most recently received assays however, have increased the previously reported drill intercept of 61.4 metres at 7.46% C in drill hole FOND-01, to 118.6 metres of 6.24% C. A total of 6 holes were drilled in the Fondrana Zone, with assay results only available for the first hole.
Assay Results Received for 12 Trenches, Including 7.11% C over 106 Metres
Of the 22 trenches completed over the course of the Phase I and Phase II exploration programs, only assay results from 1 Fondrana trench, and 11 Fotsy trenches have been received. All trench assays empirically confirm the continuation of graphite mineralization to surface. Trenches emplaced within the Fotsy Zone intersected multiple graphite horizons, with highlights including the following:
- FOTSY-TH-11-03: 5 m @ 10.31% C, 6 m @ 10.14% C, 9 m @ 8.59% C
- FOTSY-TH-11-06B: 6 m @ 9.53% C, 8 m @ 7.79% C, 10 m @ 8.43 % C
- FOTSY-TH-11-07B: 12 m @ 11.26% C
- FOTSY-TH-11-08: 10 m @ 13.83% C, 7 m @ 7.56% C
- FOTSY-TH-11-12A: 7.5 m @ 10.3% C, 6 m @ 5.73% C
The trench assay results received for the graphite mineralization intersected in the Fondrana Zone verify the graphite mineralization intersected in drill core (i.e. 6.24% C over 118.6 m from FOND-01) extends to surface over a similar width. Specifically, the FOND-TH-11-02 trench intersected the following:
- FOND-TH-11-02: 106 m @ 7.11% C, 5 m @ 4.19% C
Graphite to 71.94% C Identified on JV Property
Malagasy Minerals has reported to Energizer that while exploring during the Fourth Quarter of 2011 over the JV Property, their geologic consultants discovered ‘heavily disseminated to massive graphite’ that assayed up to 71.94% C. The following description was taken from Malagasy’s December 2011 Quarterly Report:
Samples of massive and disseminated flake graphite were discovered during the Quarter and submitted to Intertek for determination of carbon content and to Pontifex and Associates for determination of flake size and general petrological description.
Intertek reported 71.94% Carbon (C) and 12.52% C for the massive and disseminated specimens respectively, which is at least comparable to if not better than the material from the former graphite mines near Ampanihy, where material collected from stockpiles and dumps assayed from 11.44% C to 54.02% C.
Pontifex (Pontifex and Associates Pty. Ltd., Australia) reported flake size as commonly 0.5mm wide x 1.5mm long, with approximately 1/3 being 1.0mm wide and 6mm long for the massive graphite sample; and up to 20% graphite as single flakes, 0.1 to 0.3mm, more commonly as composites to 5mm for the disseminated sample.
The testwork indicates that both the grade of the graphite and the flake size are within commercial specifications and the newly located graphite vein is considered to have economic potential. It should be noted that this graphite locality now falls into the Energizer Joint Venture area.
After all graphite analyses are received, Company geoscientists will determine which of the 17 graphitic zones identified on the Green Giant and JV properties warrant further drilling in the spring of 2012, with the intention of delineating a NI 43-101 compliant indicated graphite resource by Q3. In order to facilitate an accelerated exploration timeline, the Company has submitted samples to multiple laboratories for metallurgical analysis, and will endeavour to expedite the metallurgical process throughout its exploration programs.
Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and has the highest natural strength and stiffness of any material. It maintains its strength and stability to temperatures in excess of 3,600°C and is very resistant to chemical attack. At the same time it is one of the lightest of all reinforcing agents and has high natural lubricity.
The U.S., who is a 100% importer of graphite, has joined China and the European Union in classifying graphite as a critical strategic material
New & Emerging Uses for Graphite
- Electronic Consumer Goods:
Millions of flexible graphite “heat spreaders” are used in consumer electronics such as flat panel displays, notebook computers, laptops, tablets, LED lighting and smart phones such as Apple’s iPhone. This provides excellent cooling for the electronic components as it reduces “hot spot” temperatures while boosting power which results in extended product life and improved performance.
- Lithium-ion Batteries:
Graphite is an essential component in these batteries which typically require 11 to 13 times more graphite than lithium. Since these batteries are smaller, lighter and more powerful than traditional batteries there is currently a large shift to Li-ion batteries for consumer electronics and hand-held tools. This is also the product of choice for both hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and full electric vehicles (EVs) where the batteries are much larger and the potential demand is substantial.
- Green Energy Storage:
Significantly more graphite is used as a component in fuel cells and Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VRFBs) which are utilized to store energy derived from green initiatives such as solar and wind.
- Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors (“PBNR’s”):
Graphite is now being used in PBNR’s which are small, modular nuclear reactors. The fuel is uranium dioxide which is encapsulated with graphite and forms pebbles the size of tennis balls. They have significantly lower capital and operating costs and cool naturally when shut down thus greatly improving the operating safety factor.
- Infrared defence and stealth bomber technology.
This new miracle material is beginning to gain worldwide attention and many in the scientific community speculate that it could revolutionize the world we live in. It has remarkable optical, mechanical and electrical properties which make it substantially stronger than steel and at the same time is highly elastic. One research report in Science Daily simply stated that graphene is, “ the thinnest and strongest material ever discovered.”
Traditional Uses for Graphite
- Steel Industry
Primary demand is tied to the steel industry where it is used as a liner for ladles and crucibles, as a refractory material and as an additive to the steel making process.
- Automotive Sector
Graphite is used in brake linings, gaskets, and clutch materials.
Graphite is used in lubricants, fire retardants and as a reinforcement in plastics
- World production of graphite is about 1.1 million tonnes tonnes per year (Mtpy), which is almost as large as the nickel market (1.3 Mtpy), and more than 50 times the size of the lithium or rare earth markets
- 60%-70% of the world’s graphite supply is amorphous (fine or powder) and is used for traditional purposes such as automotive and steel making
- 30%-40% is flake, which is essential for producing batteries, specifically lithium-ion, and for use in consumer electronics
- China currently produces around 75% of the world’s graphite or about 800,000 tonnes of the estimated 1.1Mt produced in calendar 2010
- This year, the British Geological Survey listed graphite, along with antimony and rare earths, as most at risk of global supply disruption. Graphite had a relative supply risk index of 7, compared with 8.5 for antimony, the highest value on the index
The China Factor
- Despite producing 75% of the world’s graphite, most of its resources are lower grade amorphous
- China is now the biggest importer of graphite and has closed state-owned enterprises this year to preserve its graphite resources
- It has imposed a 20% export duty plus a 17% VAT, and instituted an export licensing system to ensure supply to China’s domestic economy
- Annual graphite demand is expected to increase by over 50% from 1.1 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes by 2020 based on the steel market alone
- Demand from batteries and high-tech applications are projected to be dramatic. Lithium-ion batteries are projected to more than double the demand for graphite to about 2.6 million tonnes by 2020
- Industry analysts predict the discovery of Graphene will be a major driver of graphite demand
- Graphite pricing is determined by two factors – flake size and purity – with the premium product being large flake (+80 mesh), high carbon (+94%) graphite
- Like uranium and vanadium, there is a spot price for graphite that provides an indication of longer-term trends but transactions are primarily based on a direct and intimate relationship between the buyer and seller
The Bottom Line
- China’s is creating serious supply concerns for the rest of the world
- New graphite sources will be needed for both traditional and high-tech/clean tech applications
Craig Scherba, Senior Vice President Exploration and Operations for Madagascar, P.Geol., is the qualified person for the technical information provided in this release.
About Energizer Resources
Energizer Resources Inc. is a mineral exploration and development company based in Toronto, Canada, which is developing its 100%-owned Green Giant Vanadium Project located in Madagascar. The Green Giant vanadium deposit is one of the largest known vanadium deposits in the world. In addition to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: EGZ), the Company’s common shares trade on the U.S. Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol, ENZR, and on the Frankfurt Exchange under the symbol, YE5.
For more information, please visit our website at www.energizerresources.com, or contact:
Brent Nykoliation, Vice President of Business Development
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or Kirk McKinnon, Chairman and CEO