Great Lakes Graphite Inc. ("Great Lakes", "GLK" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that the Company has formed a technology partnership (the "Partnership") with Process Research ORTECH ("PRO"), of Mississauga, Ontario to commercialize its graphite purification process.
PRO recently filed a Notice of Invention to protect the intellectual property that underpins the proprietary process of purifying flake graphite to 99.9%. The partnership agreement calls for Great Lakes Graphite and PRO to complete development work on the purification process, with a view towards hi-tech commercial applications.
The main objective of the partnership is to develop a purification process to achieve a graphite product of +99% purity. The proposed development program will consist of the following:
- Chemical analysis and determination of impurities present
- Physical beneficiation tests involving a combination of flotation and comminution to remove any gangue material adhered to the graphite flake and produce a high grade graphite concentrate
- Chemical leaching with PRO's proprietary purification process to remove residual metal and oxide impurities to produce a high purity (+99%) graphite product
- Chemical analysis and particle size analysis at selected points in the purification program
Beneficiation of graphite concentrate to a 99%-plus purity level is a requirement for use in lithium-ion batteries and for other high technology applications. For example, semiconductor technology demands constant innovation and ultra-high-purity materials from suppliers. Products made from high-purity fine-grain graphite meet these requirements. Development of materials for wafer production processes and coatings enhance the purity of the next semiconductor generation, while extending the service life of materials at the same time.
Existing methods for producing high purity levels typically involve energy-intensive processes that sometimes include the use of harsh chemical reagents. PRO's CEO Dr. V. I. "Lucky" Lakshmanan said, "We are very pleased to join Great Lakes Graphite in this partnership and look forward to working together on developing and deploying this technology."
GLK CEO Paul Gorman said, "With Matheson squarely on track for commissioning later this year, we believe now is the right time to proceed with our plan for the graphite purification area. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work together with Process Research ORTECH on an initiative which has the potential to deliver significant benefits to both of our respective businesses. Partnering with PRO opens the door to several areas in which we could potentially collaborate.
In addition to a long and proud history as an organization devoted to technology and research, PRO has an advanced metallurgical testing and pilot plant facility in Mississauga, located in the Sheridan Technology Park. We are thankful for the opportunity to work with this team of very bright and extremely accomplished individuals. Leveraging a relationship with an existing partner creates a fast path to developing capabilities that are critical to enabling our progression up a vertically-integrated value chain."
About Process Research ORTECH: Process Research ORTECH Inc was formed in January 1999 to take over the Process Technologies division of ORTECH Corporation (Formerly Ontario Research Foundation) under the privatization scheme of the Ontario Government. The mandate of this company is to continue the research and development work carried on by this division of ORTECH Corporation for the past 70 years, and to explore innovative solutions in this area to better serve the needs of Canadian industries as well as international companies.
Process Research ORTECH (PRO) is now a privately owned organization serving mining, metallurgical, recycling and chemical industries. Recognizing the need for sustainable development for these industries the company has expanded to offer its clients process technologies for economic advantage, environmental stewardship and societal care.
About Great Lakes Graphite: Great Lakes Graphite Inc. is an industrial minerals company focussed on bringing carbon products to a well defined market through a vertically integrated supply chain.
As there is currently no significant graphite production in North America, Great Lakes Graphite has the ability to become one of the first domestic suppliers to a growing regional customer base that requires high quality natural graphite, where pricing and demand continue to rise.
The Company, through strategic acquisitions and capable management intends to become a leader in the industrial minerals marketplace.
The Company through its Innovations Division is currently recommissioning an Ontario based Micronization Facility for re-start in late 2015 to achieve the following objectives:
- Establish a position in the upgraded graphite products market with North American customers.
- Create a competitive and disruptive advantage by leveraging existing assets.
- Pursue an accelerated timeline to cash flow and revenue by micronizing and upgrading flake graphite, enabled by supply agreements with current graphite producers.
The Lochaber Graphite Deposit is located just 30km east of Ottawa, in southwestern Québec. The Company has also entered into option and joint venture agreements with Eloro Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ELO) on the Summit-Gaber Cobalt property located in the La Grande Greenstone Belt in the Baie James region of Québec. Further information regarding Great Lakes can be found on the Company's website at: www.GreatLakesGraphite.com.