Zenyatta Ventures, a Thunder Bay graphite explorer with a rich deposit near Hearst, is creating a European subsidiary company to handle all the expected value-added business.
ZEN-tech Materials Ltd., a privately incorporated company to be registered in England and Wales, will oversee all the development and commercialization activities surrounding graphite applications as well as the intellectual property rights and worldwide licensing.
The company called it a “strategic move” to keep the business proposition side separate from the mineral development end.
Zenyatta is developing its high-grade Albany graphite deposit,situated 30 kilometres north of the Trans-Canada Highway, and west of the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst.
ZEN-tech will operate independently of Zenyatta with its own expert management team in place.
Details on the company structure will be announced at a later date, but it will have access to highly crystalline, purified graphite to provide to international researchers and customers.
Processed graphene has uses in concrete composites, rubber composites, sensors, filtration, emulsions and silicon-graphene batteries. Other potential markets are in lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells and powder metallurgy.
Zenyatta is seeking customers for their graphite and graphene and said it is working with several partners in developing graphene composite material.
That’s why the subsidiary is being registered in the United Kingdom, the “centre for graphene research, innovation and funding,” which will enable them to be on the “leading edge of the developments in this new and fast growing materials sector.”
"It has become apparent in the last 12 months that Zenyatta has created additional value from our global collaboration and development related to various graphene initiatives,” said company president-CEO Aubrey Eveleigh a July 25 news release. “It makes strategic sense to create a subsidiary to hold the various opportunities and handle these initiatives with our partners.
"ZEN-tech has the advantage of developing proprietary graphene-based technology with a consistent supply of high-quality raw material from Zenyatta's wholly owned Albany graphite deposit. We have demonstrated that Zenyatta's graphite converts (exfoliates) easily via sonication to graphene, including mono-layer to tri-layer, has excellent dispersion properties and is highly suitable for many graphene and graphene-oxide applications."
The company said the forecast for global graphite market looks “very promising with demand growing rapidly from new applications.”
It’s considered a strategic element by many countries for its growing importance in high tech manufacturing and in green industries such as electric vehicle components.