The STAX Advantage
The Company commissioned TRU to recommend development options for the Property and to conduct test work to determine the characteristics of its graphite. TRU recommended a vertically integrated concept for the Project with three facilities (mine, mineral processing plant and product manufacturing plant) producing coated spherical graphite and other purified graphite products from Graphite Creek’s processed concentrate. This approach formed the basis for the Project’s PEA and the Company’s strategic plan.
Early in its test work, TRU and its associated graphite consultants recognized that the Property’s graphite had unique characteristics. With further study, they concluded the morphological characteristics of Graphite Creek’s STAX graphite are both globally unique and commercially important. Characterization test work conducted to date concludes that it has both crystalline, large flake characteristics and naturally occurring morphologies characteristic of already processed materials. These included:
- Naturally occurring Spheroidal shapes, close to the size ranges required for lithium ion batteries - expected to increase the yield of CSG and reduce the residence time in the spheronizing machines
- High proportions of Thin, large flake graphite with high aspect ratios - particles expected to be more amenable to milling, also important for graphene and premium alkaline batteries
- Significant proportions of “pressed flake” or three-dimensional, Aggregated graphite particles, some in the shape of flakes, alongside integral classic flake both with high aspect ratios - important for lithium ion batteries
- Naturally Expanded or exfoliated flake graphite - used in flame retardant applications
To highlight these unique properties, the Company has branded Graphite Creek graphite as “STAX GRAPHITE” and designated the features as: “S”, as in Spheroidal; “T”, as in Thin; “A”, as in Aggregate; and, “X” as in Expanded. The Company has applied to register the trademark “STAX” in the United States and Canada, in association with Graphite Creek graphite. The Canadian application has been allowed, and registration will ensue following commencement of commercial use of the trade-mark. The U.S. application is currently suspended pending registration of the Canadian application, given that the Canadian registration is the filing basis for the U.S. application.
TRU identified the need for additional research and development to more fully understand these characteristics and the potential impact on processing the graphite and producing finished products.