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Graphite Creek


America’s highest grade and largest known, large flake graphite deposit

Location

The Graphite Creek Property comprises 165 mineral claims totaling 7,317 hectares, on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska, about 59 kilometres (“km”) north of the city of Nome.  The Property is 20 km from a seasonal road, 4 km from tidewater at Windy Cove (Imuruk Basin) and 3 km from an airstrip to the southeast.

Mineralization

The Graphite Creek Deposit is characterized by coarse, crystalline (large-flake), graphite within graphite-bearing schist.  Graphite mineralization is exposed at surface along the Kigluaik Mountain Range front.  The large flake graphite occurs as disseminations and high grade segregations and lenses in distinct sillimanite-garnet-quartz-biotite schist and/or quartz-biotite schist.  The host schist is continuous over 18 KM of strike length, based on mapping, sampling and airborne geophysics.

Two studies from TRU Group Inc. were commissioned by the Company in mid-2014 and early 2015 to study the development options for the property and test work conducted to determine the characteristics of the Deposit’s graphite.  The second report identified unique characteristics of the Graphite Creek graphite.  Detailed analyses of samples from six, high-grade drill holes across the length of the deposit were conducted.  The characterization techniques used were:

  • Screening analysis
  • Laser light scattering
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Optical microscopy
  • Loss on ignition
  • Surface area by BET
  • Density measurement (True, Tap and Scott)
  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

These distinguishing features can be described as Spheroidal, Thin, Aggregate and eXpanded, or STAX.  Additional research and development will be required to assess the impact of these findings, but the Company believes that STAX has the potential to have a positive impact on the Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”).

Important conclusions resulting from this characterization testwork include findings of:

  1. Spheroidal Shaped Graphite: Naturally occurring graphite in the shape of spheres and close to the size ranges of interest for lithium ion battery-grade graphite was seen in all drill-hole concentrate samples.

  2. High Proportions of Coarse Flake Graphite with High Aspect Ratios: Screening analysis and optical microscopy demonstrated significant proportions (7-10% or more) of thin, coarse, large flake graphite (+20 mesh, +25-30 mesh).  This included “pressed flake” or aggregated graphite particles some in the shape of flakes, alongside integral classic flake and both with high aspect ratios.

  3. Naturally Expanded/Exfoliated Flake Graphite: There exists naturally occurring flake graphite with particle architecture closely matching that of expanded graphite.

NI 43-101 Resource Estimate

On March 17, 2015, the Company provided an updated resource estimate of 17.95 million tonnes (“Mt”) indicated grading 6.3% graphitic carbon (“Cg”) and 154.36 Mt inferred with 5.7% Cg, using a 3% cut-off grade.  These results moved a portion of the previously released resource estimate (Media release January 20, 2014) from inferred to indicated resource status.

Graphite Creek Resource Estimate - February 2015
Cut-Off Grade
(% Cg1)
Tonnes
(Million )
Graphite
% (Cg)
In Situ Graphite
(000 tonnes2)
Indicated
3
17.95
6.3
1,133
4
17.31
6.4
1,109
5 15.06 6.7 1,007
Inferred
3 154.36 5.7 8,764
4
121.58
6.2
7,586
5
105.70
6.5
6,874

1: This resource estimate recommends using a 3.0 % Cg cut-off grade for the base case to be consistent with  resource recovery of 80 to 95% Graphite concentrate with average selling price of USD$1,400/tonne.
2: The tonnage and in situ graphite (metric tonnes) have been rounded off to the nearest thousand, and therefore may not tally due to rounding.

To view the full 2015 NI 43-101 Resource Estimate, please find it here.

 

NI 43 - 101 Indicated Resource

History

The Graphite Creek Property is historically characterized by a series of large-flake, high-grade graphite deposits or lenses that crop out in incised creek valleys on the northern, lowermost slopes of the Kigluaik Mountains. The graphite showings were first discovered after the 1898 Cape Nome gold rush, and have been reported under several names including the Uncle Sam, Tweet and Kigluaik graphite deposits. The deposits were intermittently mined from 1907 to 1920 with some 580 tonnes of hand-sorted graphite mined from talus and adits (small <10 m excavations into exposed outcrop) that penetrated high-grade graphitic zones. Prior to Graphite One’s interest, the deposits were last explored during the mid-1990s when mapping, sampling and mineralogical (x-ray diffraction) work was conducted. The graphite showings were never drill tested prior to Graphite One’s 2012 exploration program.

Geology

The graphite deposits consist mainly of segregations (lenses and streaks) of semi-massive to massive graphite and graphite disseminations that are hosted in schistose rocks within the lower granulite facies portion of the Kigluaik Group. Based on surface exposures and workings, the deposits are known to strike in a northeasterly direction adjacent to the high angle, strike-slip Kigluaik Fault. Graphite zones within the schistose rocks occur as: 1) massive resistant graphite segregations in sillimanite-garnet-biotite quartz schist; 2) flaky graphitic sillimanite-garnet-biotite-quartz schist consisting of 15-55% large graphite flakes; and 3) graphitic biotite-quartz schist containing 1-10% disseminated graphite.

Historical sampling suggests that the sillimanite-garnet-biotite-quartz schist has massive ‘high grade’ graphite segregations (and disseminated graphite) that can yield up to 60% graphite, and the biotite-quartz schist contains 2% to 8% disseminated graphite.