Graphite play Zenyatta Ventures (ZEN-V) saw its shares rocket nearly 25% yesterday on the news that metallurgical testing on samples from its 100% -owned Albany graphite project, in northern Ontario, yielded an ultra-high-purity graphite product of up to 99.96% carbon.
The junior reports that two different leaching processes were tested on Albany graphite samples, with one resulting in 99.7% carbon, and another less expensive process resulting in 99.96% carbon.
Initial testing last fall produced a not-too-shabby 97.2% carbon product.
In a press release, the company noted that most high-purity graphite is synthetic and costly to make, as opposed to the high-purity natural graphite Albany has the potential to produce.
Zenyatta president and CEO Aubrey Eveleigh said the company is in talks with potential strategic partners, including end users of graphite.
Zenyatta shares hit a new high of $1.40 on 4.2 million shares traded before closing the day at $1.32.
Discovered in 2011, Albany is a vein-type graphite project, a rare, high-purity form of graphite that is mined only in Sri Lanka. (For a primer on graphite, see Rewriting the book on graphite.)
Drilling at the project, located 86 km west of Hearst and close to rail, power and highway infrastructure, has returned up to 170 metres grading 6.6% carbon as graphite from 44 metres depth. A resource has not yet been outlined.
Over the last year, Zenyatta, which was one of Mining Markets' top eight juniors of 2012, has traded as low as 12 cents (February 2012). The company has 42.4 million shares outstanding and 57.6 million fully diluted.
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