Seeking Graphite, Moly in Canada


Two Canadian companies — Quinto Technology Inc. and Gowest Amalgamated Resources Ltd. — hope to find new sources of graphite and molybdenite at different locations in the country.

Delta, B.C.-based Quinto reported additional results from a diamond drilling program completed this summer on graphite property at Lac Gueret, Quebec. The drilling program was designed to provide sufficient data to help support a bankable feasibility study, and results so far provide further definition of a high-grade graphite formation, the company said.

Graphite has properties of both metals and nonmetals, which makes it suitable for many industrial applications. It has a high electrical and thermal conductivity, high thermal resistance, inertness and lubricity. It is used in many applications, including lubricants. The company said that in 2005, market prices for crystalline graphite flake concentrates range widely, from U.S. $450 to $5,000 per metric ton range, depending on chemical and physical characteristics. World market for natural graphite was slightly more than one million metric tons in 2005.

Toronto-based Gowest has signed a letter of intent for acquisition of a molybdenite occurrence at Molybdenite Lake, west of Wawa, Ontario. The mining company said detailed exploration of the area is justified on the basis of previous work and observation, which revealed the most concentrated areas of the ore, coupled with the much enhanced price for the metal.

The company said molybdenum is a metal, currently worth about U.S. $27 per pound, that has a special use for increasing the hardness and strength of steel. According to Gowest, molybdenum as a lubricant is superior to graphite. Molybdenum finds use as a catalyst in the petroleum industry, especially in catalysts for removing organic sulfurs from petroleum products. Some of the other uses for the metal include special cutting tools and wiring in electric furnaces.

The company said that mineralization is widespread over an area of greater than one square kilometer on the shore and islands of Molybdenite Lake. The more concentrated mineralization is exposed within an area of 100 to 300 meters, adjacent to the southeast arm of the lake.

According to Gowest, no one has previously performed subsurface work below the lake. The company said it intends to search for geophysical targets within the confines of the lake and adjacent area that may assist the layout of an exploration drill program remote from previous testing. The company aims to seek financing to pay for the exploration program.

In June, Idaho General Mines Inc. announced it filed a plan of operations with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, a key step in realizing its Mount Hope molybdenum project in Nevada. Mount Hope is one of the largest molybdenum-porphyry deposits in the world and, once in operation, the project will be the first large-scale, high-grade molybdenum mine placed in production in the United States in more than 20 years.

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