VANCOUVER, March 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ceylon Graphite Corp. (“Ceylon” or the “Company”) (TSXV: CYL) (OTCQB: CYLYF) (FSE: CCY) is pleased to provide the following update on recent development work and the Company’s plans for 2022.
A New Strategic Direction Focused on Creating Maximum Shareholder Value
In June 2021, the Company announced the appointment of graphite-industry veteran and Ceylon Board member Donald Baxter, P.Eng. as Chief Executive Officer, President and Executive Director. Mr. Baxter is one of the premier graphite experts outside of China, having built one of only two producing graphite mines in North America. Prior to joining Ceylon, Mr. Baxter served as President, CEO and Executive Director of Alabama Graphite Corp. (“AGC”), repositioning and transforming the company with its disruptive Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) and a suite of high-performance specialty battery-ready graphite products, leading to AGC’s acquisition by a US-based mining company.
Since joining Ceylon, Mr. Baxter has led Ceylon’s transition from a prospective unprocessed crystalline vein graphite producer to a prospective downstream “mine-to-battery” value-added graphite producer. Ceylon intends to transform its high-grade, run-of-mine vein graphite into battery-quality graphite used in electric vehicles (“EVs”), while adhering to the highest environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) standards. This new focus positions Ceylon to focus on significantly higher-value products. Coated spherical battery-ready graphite (“CSBG”) for lithium-ion (“Li-ion”) battery anodes sells for between US$8,000 to $12,000 per tonne. Conversely, standard, unprocessed run-of-mine vein graphite sells for approximately US$2,000 per tonne.
Due to its in-situ high-grade of more than 90% carbon as graphite (“Cg”), Ceylon’s Sri Lankan vein graphite can be shipped — as mined— for secondary processing into significantly higher-value specialty battery graphite products. A major point of differentiation between primary vein graphite and conventional natural flake graphite concentrates is that vein graphite does not require complex, expensive milling or tailings management, which is expected to reduce associated processing costs and to mitigate environmental risk. Management believes Ceylon holds the near-term potential to operate with a minimal carbon footprint while maintaining a leading ESG profile, two characteristics which are quickly becoming essential to buyers of battery-ready graphite, including EV original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) and Li-ion battery manufacturers.
To further advance Ceylon’s discussions with battery manufacturers and OEMs, the Company intends to advance its Sri Lankan portfolio of vein graphite projects into production, while concurrently developing a downstream processing facility to transform as-mined, unprocessed vein graphite into battery-ready specialty graphite products. Ceylon’s potential for both security of supply and the transformation of the Company’s vein graphite into battery-ready graphite products at commercial scale is likely to result in one or more binding supply agreements with commercial lithium-ion battery end users.
In July 2021, the Company incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary, Ceylon Graphite Technologies Ltd. (“CGT”) in the United Kingdom. Led by Chief Scientific Executive and renowned nano materials scientist, Dr. Siva Bohm, the objective of CGT is to develop innovative applications for value-added graphite and graphene in multiple market segments, focusing on Li-ion-battery-anode graphite as Europe and North America drive forward into vehicle electrification. Ceylon Graphite will continue to build-out its production capacity in Sri Lanka for high-grade, low-cost graphite from its mines, while CGT develops new intellectual property (“IP”) for graphite beneficiation and purification for battery-grade primarily for use in high-margin anode improvements for the electric-vehicle and energy-storage markets and graphene applications.
In February 2022 and November 2021, the Company announced the test results from CGT on its vein graphite, which demonstrated that its silicon-enhanced vein graphite-anode material significantly increases specific discharging capacity. Results came in at 446 mAh/g for specific discharge capacity (SDC) for silicon enhanced vein graphite materials (a 13% increase) in half cell lithium-ion battery tests. Its anode graphite in full cell lithium-ion batteries outperforms leading commercial synthetic graphite (165 mAh/g compared to the Industry Standard of 153mAg/g). Ceylon believes the improved performance is due to its vein graphite material’s high crystallinity, high purity, and its proprietary purification technology. These reports have garnered the attention of multiple OEMs, which are in discussions with the Company.
Vein Graphite Project Developments
Ceylon has ten current mining projects, each of which is expected to have competitive development capital expenditures, subject to the completion and filing of a National Instrument 43-101- (“NI 43-101”) Technical Report, given that each are underground prospects, not requiring any milling. The nature of the high-grade vein mineralization is expected to potentially generate robust margins, even at the current unprocessed graphite prices.
On February 22, 2022, the Company announced the filing of its most recent Technical Report titled “Technical Report on the Karasnagala (K1) Exploitation Licence” on Ceylon’s K1 vein graphite project in Sri Lanka, prepared by Dr. Christian Derosier, P.Geo., in accordance with NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. The report details an initial Mineral Resource1 Estimate on the K1 mine project of nearly 1,400 tonnes, averaging 73.86% C in the Measured Mineral Resource category, and more than 3,100 tonnes, averaging more than 93% C in the Inferred Mineral Resource category.
This is in addition to the October 1, 2018, filing of a technical report titled “Technical Report on the Malsiripura (M1) Exploration Licenses, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”, also prepared by Dr. Christian Derosier, P.Geo. In accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (‘NI-43-101”).
Given the nature of the vein graphite, which is believed to extend for kilometres along strike and down dip, the Company expects to continue to be able to increase resources once further development work is completed. We will continue with underground drilling at K1 and M1 to further define the graphite veins.
On January 4, 2022, the Company announced the renewal of its Environmental Protection License from the Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka for ongoing operations at the K1 Mine. Valid for three years, the renewed license allows for continued operations at the K1 Mine project. The Company has also suspended production to deepen the K1 mine project shaft to reach larger vein structures identified by its geologists, while an adit will be driven at a lower level. Combined, these two developments are expected to increase development and faster than previously planned.
Both Ceylon’s K1 and M1 mine project are expected to be hoisting graphite in Q3 this year.
Ceylon has bolstered its management team with the appointments of Ms. Rita Theil as the Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Directors earlier this year and Mr. Rodney Stevens as Vice President of Corporate Development in June 2021. The appointment of Ms. Theil not only bolsters the Board of Directors, but also advances the Company’s objective of having a top-tier corporate-governance structure.
Ms. Theil has extensive board and governance experience with both public and private companies, with a particular focus on enterprises operating in highly regulated industries. She is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of JacKryn Holdings Inc., a corporate finance advisory firm specializing in capital markets, strategy development and execution, M&A, and merger integration.
Mr. Stevens is a Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) charter holder with over a decade of experience in the capital markets, initially as an investment analyst with Salman Partners Inc. and subsequently as a merchant and investment banker. While at Salman Partners, Mr. Stevens became a top-rated analyst for the metals and mining industry.
Donald K. D. Baxter, P. Eng, CEO of Ceylon Graphite Corp., is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 (“N.I. 43-101”) guidelines and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.
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Donald K. Baxter, P.Eng.
Chief Executive Officer
CEYLON GRAPHITE CORP.
+1(604) 765 8657
ABOUT CEYLON GRAPHITE CORP.
Ceylon Graphite Corp. is a public company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, that is in the business of mining for graphite, and developing and commercializing innovative graphene and graphite applications and products. Graphite mined in Sri Lanka is known to be some of the highest grade in the world and has been confirmed to be suitable to be easily upgradable for a range of applications including the high-growth electric vehicle and battery storage markets as well as construction, healthcare and paints and coatings sectors. The Government of Sri Lanka has granted the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary Sarcon Development (Pvt) Ltd. an IML Category A license for its K1 mine and exploration rights in a land package of over 120km². These exploration grids (each one square kilometer in area) cover areas of historic graphite production from the early twentieth century and represent a majority of the known graphite occurrences in Sri Lanka.
Further information regarding the Ceylon Graphite Corp. is available at www.ceylongraphite.com
This news release contains forward-looking information as such term is defined in applicable securities laws, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management’s current expectations and assumptions. The forward-looking information includes statements about Ceylon Graphite’s grids, Ceylon Graphite’s plans to undertake additional drilling and to develop a mine plan, and to commence establishing mining operations. Such forward-looking statements reflect management’s current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to Ceylon Graphite, including the assumption that, there will be no material adverse change in metal prices, all necessary consents, licenses, permits and approvals will be obtained, including various Local Government Licenses and the market. Investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. Risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking information include, among other things, an inability to reach a final acquisition agreement, inaccurate results from the drilling exercises, a failure to obtain or delays in obtaining the required regulatory licenses, permits, approvals and consents, an inability to access financing as needed, a general economic downturn, a volatile stock price, labour strikes, political unrest, changes in the mining regulatory regime governing Ceylon Graphite, a failure to comply with environmental regulations and a weakening of market and industry reliance on high quality graphite. Ceylon Graphite cautions the reader that the above list of risk factors is not exhaustive.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.