Mason Graphite Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LLG) announces the closing of the first tranche of its investment in Group NanoXplore Inc. ("NanoXplore"). As previously announced on January 13th 2014, Mason Graphite and NanoXplore have entered into an agreement whereby Mason Graphite would acquire up to 40% of the issued and outstanding shares of NanoXplore for $700,000 in two tranches.
Mason Graphite is a Canadian mining company focused on the exploration and development of one of the highest grade graphite deposits known in the world. Its 100% owned Lac Guéret graphite property is located in northeastern Québec near the main service center of Baie-Comeau and currently hosts a NI 43-101 compliant Measured & Indicated mineral resource of 7.6 million tonnes grading 20.4% Cg (carbon as graphite). 20.4% Cgr is the equivalent to about 9.1 g/t gold (assuming graphite price of $1,750 and gold price of $1,250. Source: Craig Miller at TD Securities). Tremendous exploration potential exists on the property with the current mineral resource based on exploration of only 17% of one well defined zone. By the end of 2015, the Company intends to have developed the Lac Guéret project into one of the world’s highest grade graphite producers. The Company's senior management team possesses significant graphite expertise from their experience at Timcal/Imerys; including Benoit Gascon, CPA, CA, who held executive positions for 20 years, including over 6 years as President and CEO; Jean L'Heureux, Eng., Executive Vice-President, Process Development, with over 20 years of experience; and Luc Veilleux, CPA, CA, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President, with 8 years of experience. Timcal, now owned by Imerys, is one of the largest graphite producers in the world.
Solid fundamentals for success:
- Graphite is an essential and highly desirable product. Consumption and demand is ever-increasing.
- The Lac Guéret property has an exceptionally high grade ore body. The ore body averages 20.4% carbon as graphite (Cgr), which is equivalent to about 9.1 g/t gold (assuming graphite price of $1,750 and gold price of $1,250).
- Highly experienced management team, including President and CEO Benoit Gascon who has held 20 years of executive positions at Timcal, including over 6 years as CEO. Timcal, now owned by Imerys, is the largest graphite producer in the world.
- The Lac Guéret property is located in the “Plan Nord” territory in northeastern Quebec, near the main service centre of Baie Comeau.
President and CEO
Mr. Gascon has over 20 yrs of experience in the Graphite & Carbon industries. He was the CEO of Stratmin Graphite which operates the Lac-des-Iles deposit; one of North America's only producing graphite mines. He was responsible for negotiating the complete take-over of Stratmin Graphite by Imerys SA, a world leader in Industrial Minerals, to form Timcal Graphite & Carbon. Mr. Gascon, CPA, CA, holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Haute Etudes Commerciales (HEC, Montreal).
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Luc Veilleux, CPA, CA, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC, Montreal) and has over 20 years of experience in the mining and manufacturing industries including eight years at Timcal in the roles of Chief Financial Officer (based in Switzerland), COO and Vice-President of Finance (North America), and Controller for the Lac-des-Iles graphite mine.
Executive Vice President of Process Development
Mr. L’Heureux is a professional metallurgical engineer who has been involved in the mining and processing of graphite for over 20 years with the Imerys SA in Quebec and in Europe. Since 2000, he has been the Product Manager, Refractory and Metallurgy for Timcal. Mr. L’Heureux obtained his Bachelor of Engineering degree at Laval University in Quebec City and is currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management at Sherbrooke University. Mr. L’Heureux is a member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec.
Mr. Marcotte has over 14 years of capital market experience. He was a partner of Cormark Securities for 4 years in institutional equity sales and also sat on their board of Directors. Prior to that, Mr. Marcotte was a Director for CIBC World Markets in Montreal for 8 years. He holds a B.A.A. from Sherbrooke University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He currently acts as an officer for Belo Sun Mining and Alderon Iron Ore.
Mr. Tayfun Eldem currently serves as the President and CEO of Alderon Iron Ore Corp. He has worked for the Iron Ore Company of Canada (“IOC”), a Rio Tinto subsidiary, for more than 20 years, including three years as a Director on the joint-venture Board. Mr. Eldem holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Dalhousie University along with Operations & Strategic Management Certificates from Richard Ivey School of Business and London Business School.
Mr. Docherty has over 25 years of experience in the resource industry. He was previously CEO of Quinto Mining Corporation and President, CEO and Director of Deer Horn Metals. Mr. Docherty is an active board member of a number of other public and private mining companies.
Mr. Moore is a finance executive with over 20 years of experience in the resource sector. He presently serves as COO of Forbes & Manhattan, Inc., President of Dacha Strategic Metals Inc. and VP of Corporate Development of Sulliden Gold Corp. Ltd. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
Mr. Laurin is the former CFO of Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. (CLM). He is currently the President and CEO of Cap-Ex Ventures Inc. and CFO of Copper One Inc., two exploration mining companies listed on the TSXV.
Mr. Neill is currently an executive VP of Dacha Strategic Minerals Inc. who holds a Master of Business Administration from York University and a Bachelor of Engineering in Material Science from the University of Western Ontario. He is the former VP sales, Rare Earth Division and VP Business Development for AMR.
Lac Guéret Graphite Project
Lac Guéret, northeastern Québec
Property and Infrastructure
Mason Graphite’s 100 % owned Lac Guéret property consists of 11,630 ha (116 km2) in northeastern Quebec. It is located about 300 km north of the main service centre of Baie-Comeau and about 660 km from Montreal. The property is easily accessible year-round by main logging roads via highway 389.
(Click on image to enlarge)
(Click on image to enlarge)
Mason Graphite acquired the Lac Guéret project from Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. through its wholly-owned subsidiary Quinto Mining Corporation pursuant to a purchase agreement dated April 5, 2012. The cost of the acquisition was US$15,000,000, payable in installments based on the achievement of milestones over a five year period. As additional consideration, Mason Graphite issued approximately 2 million warrants to Quinto (see July 16, 2012 press release for details).
On October 16, 2012, Mason Graphite announced that it had completed the reverse takeover of POCML1 Inc, whereby all of the outstanding shares of Mason Graphite were exchanged for common shares of POCML1 Inc. on a one-for-one basis. As part of this transaction, the name of the company was changed to Mason Graphite Inc. Please see the press releases issued on July 16, 2012 and October 16, 2012 for full details of the transaction.
The known graphite occurrence on the Lac Guéret property occurs in two zones, the GC zone and the GR zone.
The graphite occurrence in the GC zone has been mapped on strike up to 1.2 km and at width up to 240 metres. The current NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate (see below) is based on the exploration of only 17% of the GC zone area.
Graphite occurrences in the GR zone have been identified on an area of up to 1 kilometre and up to 110 metres wide. The company intends to conduct a drilling program in this zone following proper definition drilling of the GC zone.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Mineral Resource (July 2012)
A mineral resource estimate for the Lac Guéret property was completed in July 2012 and was based on the 24 drill holes completed by Quinto in 2006 (for a total of 2,284 metres cored). The results, using a cut-off grade of 4% carbon as graphite (Cgr), were as follows:
- Measured and indicated mineral resources totaling approximately 7.6 million tonnes grading 20.40% Cgr
- Inferred mineral resources totaling approximately 2.8 million tonnes grading 17.29% Cgr
As shown in the metal equivalence table below, 20.40% carbon as graphite is equal to a grade of about 9.1 g/t of gold. This far surpasses the grade of all public graphite projects in the world.
Preliminary Economic Assessment (April 2013)
Mason Graphite announced strong results from a PEA in April 2013, which included:
-Initial direct capital costs of $89.9M
- Production costs of $390 per tonne of finished product
-$364M pre-tax NPV (8% discount); $283M pre-tax NPV (10% discount)
-33.7% pre-tax Internal Rate of Return
-Payback period of 2.5 years
-22-year mine life
-Average sales price of $1,525 per tonne
- Annual production of 50,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate
-27.4% average LOM graphite content in the mineralization
- Graphite recovery above 96%
- Up to 96.4% Cgr of finished product purity
- Stripping ratio of 0.76:1
2000 McGill College ave., Suite 2210
Montreal, PQ H3A 3H3
T +1 (514) 281-9434
F +1 (514) 281-5048
65 Queen Street West, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2M5
T +1 (416) 861-1685
F +1 (416) 861-8165
Mason Graphite’s Lac Guéret property is located in Quebec, one of the world’s most attractive jurisdictions for mineral exploration and development. It also falls within the “Plan Nord” territory, which is an economic development strategy launched by the Government of Quebec in May 2011 to help the development of Quebec mining projects located north of the 49th parallel.
Mason Graphite trades in Canada on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol LLG and OTC in the United States under MGPHF. The company has 66.8 million shares outstanding with 21.6 million outstanding warrants ranging from $.2 to $1.00. Insiders own approximately 35% of the outstanding shares.