Zenyatta Ventures (CVE:ZEN) (OTCQX:ZENYF) shares were rising Wednesday after signing an agreement with the provincial government of Ontario that will financially support the development of its Albany graphite deposit.
Shares were up 3.7 percent at C$1.41 as of 1:45pm ET, after being halted earlier today pending the announcement.
The company said it signed a contribution agreement with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), which is a provincial government funding organization designed to help stimulate economic development in northern Ontario.
Zenyatta will get a $500,000 grant from the NOHFC to help support the ongoing process flow sheet at its Albany project, which is located in northeastern Ontario.
"The Albany project has the potential to produce an ultra-high purity graphite product that could lead to high-tech, value-added business opportunities to emerge in Ontario," said president and chief executive officer Aubrey Eveleigh.
Zenyatta's Albany deposit has the capability to produce ultra-high purity graphite material used for high tech applications and for green industries, such as lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and fuel cells for energy storage. Companies interested in its product are typically seeking large tonnage, high quality 'raw material' resources that are produced using a cost-effective and environmentally friendly process.
Currently, metallurgical testing and a preliminary economic assessment are underway at the deposit to define the scale up of the purification process, Zenyatta said.
Graphite is considered a key strategic material, defined by its ability to maintain its stability and strength under very high temperatures, while also resistant to chemical corrosion. It is also one of the lightest of all reinforcing elements and has high natural lubricating abilities.
The Albany deposit sits about 30km north of the Trans-Canada highway, power line and natural gas pipeline, near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst. A rail line is also located 70 km away, with an all-weather road about 10 km from the site.