VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 13, 2013) - Valterra Resource Corporation (TSX VENTURE:VQA)(3VA.F) reports that metallurgical results from continued testing on the +20kg Discovery Zone trench sample from the Bobcaygeon Graphite Project in southern Ontario has produced an ultra-high-purity, fine-flake graphite concentrate of 99.97% C by LOI method.
This new analysis represents further refinement and a more robust analytical method compared to an earlier reported result from a smaller sample size of the fine-flake fraction that returned +99% C (see NR-05-13) and moves the fine-fraction concentrate into the ultra-high-purity product category.
A fine-flake concentrate (-150 mesh) was ground to P80 of approximately 40 microns and upgraded to >90% C by means of flotation. The flotation concentrate was subjected to a two-stage leach process followed by LOI analyses on the leach residue. ICP analyses to determine impurities is pending(1).
Previously reported highlights from metallurgical work conducted at SGS Lakefield includes:
- 55.9% of the concentrate separates into the fine-flake category (-150 mesh) which was used in the above analysis.
- 31.7% of the concentrate separates into the large and jumbo flake categories (+80 mesh or >0.178mm) grading 94.9% C by LOI. This includes 14.6% of the concentrate at a +48 mesh (jumbo flake) grading 94.7% C by LOI.
- 12.4% of the concentrate separates into the medium-flake category (-80 to +150 mesh) grading 96.3% C by LOI.
- Total overall concentrate recoveries of 93.3% at a combined concentrate grade of 93.1% C by LOI.
- 34% Cg head-grade was returned in trench float sampling of primarily flake graphite with flakes of up to 3mm in length.
These preliminary flotation and leaching test results demonstrate the potential to produce marketable, very high-margin natural graphite products utilizing industry-standard processing techniques from the entire concentrate, including the ultra-high-purity fine-flake fraction. Only flake graphite with purity of 99.9% is suitable for Li-ion battery manufacturing which is currently dominated by high-cost synthetic graphite. Current synthetic prices range from US$7,000-20,000 per tonne and Valterra is targeting this market with natural graphite products that may provide a distinct cost advantage.
Multi-disciplinary results from the project have been very encouraging and Valterra is planning an aggressive exploration program including the evaluation of near surface geophysical anomalies, prospecting, and diamond drilling several targets located mainly in the Discovery Zone trench area as well as other targets on this large +160 sq. km property.
Graphite is a naturally occurring form of carbon with wide-ranging and unique physical properties. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity and has outstanding lubrication properties and is very resistant to chemical corrosion. Graphene is derived from graphite and is one of the strongest and lightest known substances with a tensile strength 200 times the strength of steel. The industrial development of graphene is at an early stage but will eventually become a replacement for several expensive electronic components such as silicon semi-conductors. Graphite occurs naturally as vein, flake, and amorphous where the highest quality product can command prices in excess of $2,000 per tonne. In pricing graphite, the flake size and purity are key factors with the large flake at +0.178mm and purity at +99% Cg commanding the highest prices in markets dominated by multi-national eco-automobile manufacturers, high-tech industries and nuclear energy companies. Recent pricing and demand increases have accelerated numerous exploration and investment opportunities in the graphite market.
The Province of Ontario is an excellent locale to explore owing to superior geology, geoscience knowledge, infrastructure, political stability and tax incentives. Several projects are advancing in the graphite field including Northern Graphite Corporation, Zenyatta Ventures Inc. and Ontario Graphite Ltd.
About Valterra Resource Corporation
Valterra is focussed on graphite, gold, copper and silver properties in Canada with the potential to host large deposits, in regions with excellent infrastructure. Over the last several years, Valterra has acquired and is exploring several key projects including "Bobcaygeon", "Star-Toughnut" and "Swift Katie". The Bobcaygeon property covers an area of over 160 sq. km in Southern Ontario, and is hosted in rocks of the Grenville geological province where most of the known significant graphite deposits occur. The "Star-Toughnut" and "Swift Katie" projects are Au-Cu-Ag properties with bulk tonnage potential in south-eastern BC.
Valterra is a Manex Resource Group Company. The group provides expertise in exploration, administration, and corporate development services for Valterra's mineral properties.
Brian McGrath, P.Geo., is the Qualified Person responsible for reviewing the technical information presented in this release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Frederick Sveinson, President, Valterra Resource Corporation
(1) The fine-flake (-150 mesh) concentrate was originally produced via kinetics testing which involves a two-stage grinding process with the products of each incremental flotation stage evaluated qualitatively under an optical microscope to characterize the quality of the flotation products. The incremental rougher concentrates were combined into two flotation concentrates and submitted for size fraction analysis. The concentrates were screened at various mesh sizes and the fine-flake size fraction and the rougher tails were subjected to LOI and C(g) analyses to generate a mass balance; a whole rock analysis by ICP is pending. Cautionary Note: The grab sample was selective by nature and is unlikely to represent average grades of the deposit.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. These statements are based on a number of assumptions, including, but not limited to, assumptions regarding general economic conditions, interest rates, commodity markets, regulatory and governmental approvals for Valterra Resource Corporation's projects, and the availability of financing for Valterra Resource Corporation's development projects on reasonable terms. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, the timing and receipt of government and regulatory approvals, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Valterra Resource Corporation does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.