-The Graphite Story:
The commercial market for Graphite is diverse worldwide. The Graphite industry is experiencing an increase in demand from numerous industrial sectors, spanning both developing and developed economies. Traditional uses of Graphite include steelmaking, electrodes in electric arc furnaces, brake linings, modern pebble bed nuclear reactors, and dry lubricants. There has been an escalation in the use of Graphite in clean energies such as lithium ion batteries and fuel cells, which power hybrid and electric vehicles.
Analyst Simon Moores of Benchmark Minerals, London recently noted “Global battery production is expected to receive a turbo boost in the next three years as some of the world’s biggest corporations and disruptive technology companies prepare major entries into the market. Tesla Motors, LG Chem and Foxconn Technology Group are all constructing what can be described as battery super-plants for the electric vehicle (EV) market.”
“Total investment from all three companies is expected to top $5bn and could reach as high as $7bn as they vie for a leading position in a major new global industry.” These plans will have a significant impact on the raw materials fuelling the three megafactories, graphite, lithium and cobalt especially, as will the additional growth in the EV battery market which is expected to range, in Benchmark’s conservative estimates, from 10-15% a year. “The industry will need to be prepared for a raw material surge in 2016 as buying starts for these three plants in what could be a significantly disruptive event.”
The outlook for high-quality, Large Flake Graphite demand is strong due to the development of new technologies, which use Graphite as an essential component. The United States, Europe and China have included graphite among a short list of critical materials.
-The Lac Guéret Extensions Project:
The Lac Guéret Extensions Project is located within the exploration friendly jurisdiction of Quebec, in the Manicouagan Regional County Municipality, three hours driving time from the city of Baie-Comeau. Easy access is provided via a major secondary road and numerous tertiary and forest roads that traverse the property.
The project is situated in the geological Grenville Province and part of the Plan Nord region, Quebec’s highly regarded sustainable development initiative. The Lac Guéret East Block consists of 38 claims covering 2,052 Ha and is prospective for Graphite. Berkwood holds a 100% interest in the property. Berkwood also has an option to earn a 100%-interest in the Lac Guéret South Block which consists of 106 claims totalling 5714 Ha.
The Lac Guéret Extensions Project directly borders Mason Graphite’s significant Lac Guéret Project to the east and south. Mason Graphite’s advanced Lac Guéret Project has an NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate with measured & indicated mineral resources of 67.5 million tonnes grading 17.2% Cgr (Carbon as Graphite), inlcuding 9.7 million tonnes grading 31.2% Cgr.
The Lac Guéret South Block is also djacent to, on all sides, a separate Mason Graphite property in the Lac Guéret region, the Capitaine Cosmos Graphite Prospect, which lies 12 km to the southwest of Mason Graphite’s Lac Guéret Project.
The Lac Guéret Extensions Graphite Project shares a similar prospective geological environment as Mason Graphite’s Lac Guéret Property (located adjacent and to both properties), including along strike stratigraphic units and structures. Graphite in the vicinity ranges from 3% to 40% Cg (averaging 20.4% at Mason Graphite’s Lac Guéret Deposit) and exhibits flakes of up to 5 mm in diameter. Large flake graphite is 0.2 mm and above. The Properties are part of the Archean Ulamen Complex (2780 to 2680 Ma) mainly composed of (i) gneissic tonalite and granulitic tonalite gneisses interlayered with (ii) minor mafic metavolcanics and metagabbros. The Archean Ulamen Complex contains units of Paleoproterozoic units reported to be metasedimentary in origin and stratigraphically correlated with the Gagnon Group. Units of the Gagnon Group present on or adjacent to the Properties include: biotite, garnet, sillimanite paragneisses and graphitic schists of the Nault Formation; iron formations with ferruginous quartzites and cherts of the Wabush Formation; quartzites of the Wapussakatoo Formation (1868 Ma); and dolomitic and calcitic marbles of the Duley Formation (Source: Quebec government public file Sigeom MERQ RG2013-01).The overall structural pattern is an arc with gneissic fabrics striking NNE-SSW in the Lac Guéret East Block passing through E-W to WNW-ESE in the Lac Guéret South Block.
In the proximal area of the Properties, seventeen (17) Graphite prospects are reported, including the Mason Graphite Lac Guéret deposit and Mason Graphite Capitaine Cosmos Graphite Prospect which returned up to 34.1% Cgr and 0.8 g/t Au over one meter (Source: Quebec government public file Sigeom MERQ GM60839). Berkwood’s Lac Guéret South Graphite Block surrounds the Capitaine Cosmos Property where Graphite mineralization is reported to occur as semi-massive to massive (up to 90% Cgr) interfolded lenses and veins intimately associated with silicate and sulfide iron formations, sulfide schists, dolomites and calcites, quartzites, amphibolites, calc-silicates and metamorphosed, aluminous and ferrous alteration.
Geologist, Alain Berclaz, P. Geo and CEO of Abgéoconseil Inc. consultants, made a recent site visit to the the Properties. From his historical work compilation and field observations, Mr. Berclaz noted that a fieldwork program with the objective to delineate high-quality conductors associated with new prospective Graphite targets or with extensions on strike with known massive Graphite mineralization is of particular interest within Berkwood’s Lac Guéret South Block and should be of the highest priority. His recommendation for initial fieldwork in order to rapidly advance the project to a drilling stage, was to immediately commence with a detailed magnetic-electromagnetic (MAG-EM) helicopter-borne geophysical survey. A helicopter-borne magnetic (MAG) and time-domain electromagnetic (TDEM) survey was recently completed over the Lac Guéret South Block. The survey successfully identified a total of 101 electromagnetic (EM) anomalies in six conductive and prospective targets comprising conductor lineaments totalling over 13 kilometres of cumulative length along multiple flight lines.
The six conductive targets are all associated with magnetic anomalies. In the exploration context of the Lac Guéret area, where high grade graphite is the targeted mineralization and recognized to be associated with magnetic sulfides and iron formations, the six targets contain the expected magnetic and EM geophysical signature for a potential graphitic source.
Targets 1 and 2, located respectively in the western and northern part of the property, are of particular interest. Targets 1 and 2 define strong conductors ranging from 1.8 to 3 kilometres in length and up to 845 and 425 metres in width respectively. They are likely caused by repetition and thickening of conductive horizons along complex interfolded geological structures.
The six conductive targets clearly warrant further attentive ground investigation. The next course of action planned is ground geophysics follow-up in the form of the PhiSpy ground TDEM system to better define the position, extent, source and the structure of the best conductive lineaments in order to prioritize planned detailed mapping, prospecting, channel sampling and drilling during 2015.
The high-resolution geophysical survey, comprising 415 linear kilometres with a line spacing of 200 metres, was conducted by Prospectair Geosurveys Inc. of Gatineau, Quebec. The results were processed and interpreted by Joël Dubé, Engineer and senior geophysical consultant for Dubé & Desaulniers Geoscience of Ottawa, Ontario.
Lac Gueret 4th Drill Program.
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