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Zenyatta to Concentrate Efforts on New Advanced Li-Ion Batteries Containing its Graphene Oxide; This Program is Part of a Broader Graphene Development Strategy

 

Thunder Bay, ON

8 February 2018

 

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (“Zenyatta” or “Company”) (TSXV: ZEN) will concentrate efforts on the next generation lithium-ion battery (‘LIB’) utilizing advanced nanomaterials. Recent testing has shown Zenyatta’s graphene oxide combined with silicon to perform well in this new advanced battery being developed by an innovative materials company in the United States. Given the present limitations of the existing LIB’s, R&D facilities across the world are developing a super-battery that enables higher capacity and quicker charging to meet the growing consumer demand for energy and power.

This advanced battery program is part of a broader graphene development strategy announced on 29 January 2018 titled “Zenyatta Will Focus Future Efforts on Value-Added Graphene Converted from Albany Graphite in a Vertically Integrated Structure.” Along with the new LIB’s, the Company will also focus on using its graphene for enhancing present day composite materials like concrete, rubber and plastic.

Mr. Keith Morrison, Chairman of Zenyatta stated, “Graphene is emerging as the most promising nanomaterial for enhancing the performance of products across a broad range of industry sectors. Given its incredible natural properties, it is not surprising to find graphene integrated into new LIB designs. LIB developers plan market disruption by engineering optimization of a product’s performance and cost that outperforms its internal combustion competition. The forecasted growth rates for LIB’s in the next decade are impacting critical supply chain resource values today.”

These new graphene-based batteries are receiving significant interest and R&D investment around the world in comparison to conventional Li-ion batteries. High-quality graphene can make batteries that are potentially lighter, durable, safer, have higher energy storage capacity and shorten charging times.  Graphene adds greater conductivity without requiring the amount or type of carbon that is used in conventional batteries.  These new advanced batteries can be enhanced by incorporating graphene into the battery and exploiting its superior conductivity, high material strength and large surface area characteristics to achieve optimum performance.

LIB’s are widely used globally for portable electronic devices and electric vehicles. Unfortunately, the existing lithium-ion batteries still lack the required level of energy storage to completely meet the demands of such applications as electric vehicles.  The adaption of silicon-graphene based anode batteries could accelerate the fast growing market for energy storage, especially for the automotive sector. The demand for electric car batteries is driving an increased requirement for better raw material ingredients which includes graphene, the most advanced form of carbon.  The electric vehicle game is all about the best battery and the trend is for companies to adapt using the best nanomaterials and technology available.

Zenyatta’s high-purity graphite was converted to graphene oxide by Dr. Aicheng Chen, Professor at Lakehead University.  That material was then sent to an American advanced materials company where it was successfully used to create a silicon-graphene composite for testing as a new anode material in a next generation lithium-ion battery.  The superior dispersion qualities and electrochemical performance of the Company’s material are desirable properties that are well suited for this advanced silicon-graphene battery.  While silicon has many times the capacity of the current graphite anode, it cannot be used alone due to rapid degradation.  A significant amount of research has been carried out to encapsulate silicon in a graphene oxide material to enhance the cycle life while also increasing charge capacity and durability for advanced lithium-ion batteries.  Many companies including Samsung,  Cabot Corporation, Huawei and Nokia are using graphene to enhance the performance of batteries they are developing.

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. is developing the Albany graphite deposit situated in northeastern Ontario, Canada.  The deposit is a unique type of igneous-hosted, fluid-derived mineralization containing highly crystalline carbon in two large breccia pipes.  The Albany graphite deposit is situated 30 km north of the Trans-Canada Highway, power line and natural gas pipeline near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst.  A rail line is located 50 km away with an all-weather road approximately 10 km from the graphite deposit. 

Mr. Aubrey Eveleigh, P.Geo., Zenyatta’s President and CEO, is the “Qualified Person” for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information contained in this news release.  For Further Information Please visit the Company’s website at: http://www.zenyatta.ca or contact:  Office (807) 346-1660 Email: info@zenyatta.ca

 

 

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: This analysis does not represent a statistically large sample size.  Furthermore, these positive results do not mean that Zenyatta can extract and process Albany graphite for graphite or graphene applications on an economic basis.  Without a formal independent feasibility study, there is no assurance that the operation will be economic.  The Company has completed a July 9, 2015 Preliminary Economic Assessment which indicates an open pit mine life of 22 years (excludes underground resource which is open at depth) producing 30,000 tonnes purified graphite per annum (see Zenyatta press release of 1 June 2015).  The PEA is preliminary in nature, it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.  Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release may contain forward looking information and Zenyatta cautions readers that forward looking information is based on certain assumptions and risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations of Zenyatta included in this news release. This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements”, which often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as  "potential", "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "estimates", "may", "could", "would", "will", or "plan". These statements are based on information currently available to Zenyatta and Zenyatta provides no assurance that actual results will meet management's expectations. Forward-looking statements include estimates and statements with respect to Zenyatta’s future plans, objectives or goals, to the effect that Zenyatta or management expects a stated condition or result to occur, including the expected timing for release of a pre-feasibility study, the expected uses for graphite or graphene in the future, and the future uses of the graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit. Since forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results relating to, among other things, results of metallurgical processing, ongoing exploration, project development, reclamation and capital costs of Zenyatta’s mineral properties, and Zenyatta’s financial condition and prospects, could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements for many reasons such as, but are not limited to: failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves; the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results; the inability to identify target markets and satisfy the product criteria for such markets; the inability to complete a prefeasibility study; the inability to enter into offtake agreements with qualified purchasers; delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals; political risks; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates; fluctuations in commodity prices; delays in the development of projects; capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry; and those risks set out in Zenyatta’s public documents filed on SEDAR. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. Although Zenyatta believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Zenyatta disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.