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Hearst-area graphite miner preparing to enter the market

ZEN Graphene Solutions working through the technicalities of production
ZEN Graphene
ZEN Graphene's Guelph R & D facility.

A technology startup company with a high-grade graphite deposit in northwestern Ontario is heading down the path toward production.

ZEN Graphene Solutions announced March 26 that they have started scale-up and engineering studies at its Guelph R & D facility.

In opening sales of their graphene products in early March, the company’s stated goal for 2020 is to start generating revenue from sales and production by striking commercial deals.

Formerly known as Zenyatta Ventures, ZEN's Albany graphite deposit, west of Hearst, has an estimated open-pit life of 22 years and the potential to annually produce 33,000 tonnes of graphite.

The processed graphene product is a carbon nanomaterial used in electric vehicle batteries, high strength concrete, water desalination membranes, and auto parts. ZEN is looking at various applications in transportation, aerospace, bio-medical, civil engineering and the water treatment fields.

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Over the years, the company has been working with University of Guelph researchers to develop a proprietary process to convert graphite ore, to be mined in Northren Ontario, into top-quality graphene oxide for high-end users.

At their Guelph location, they’re setting up as a small-scale plant to make the refined product for end users. From there, they’ll ship small sample batchers to industry and academia for research purposes.

ZEN said their research and engineering team will be developing and testing custom graphene formulations suited to the specifications requested by industry. They recently purchased an autoclave for that process.

Their products are being branded – with a stamp of authenticity – under the banner of Albany Pure™, indicating that the material is sourced from their Albany deposit and meets their high-quality standards.

In a footnote, ZEN said in response to the global pandemic, any spending that’s not geared to their core business, of ramping up production, is being eliminated. Air travel for employees and all face-to-face meetings are postponed until further notice.