Graphite One Inc. [GPH-TSXV; GPHOF-OTCQX] reported drill results from its 2021 field program at its 100%-owned Graphite Creek project, located in the Kigluaik Mountains on the Seward peninsula, approximately 37 miles north of Nome, Alaska. Graphite Creek is currently recognized by the US Geological Survey as the largest and highest grade graphite resource in the United States.
The 2021 field program was conducted from July to October 2021 and comprised a total of 2,150 metres. This included 8 core holes in the areas of Inferred resources to upgrade them to Measured and Indicated resources, and 9 geotechnical holes.
The drill results will be included in the upcoming pre-feasibility study (PFS), with details following. Select drill results include drill hole 21GOC060 that returned 16.03 metres of 6.9% Cg, 18.75 metres of 5.04% Cg and 28.5 metres of 5.13% Cg in three separate intervals starting from 54 metres downhole.
21GOC061 returned 29.15 metres of 5.83% Cg, including 3 metres of 11.73% Cg starting from 51 metres downhole. 21GC062 returned 42.4 metres of 11.61% Cg from 45 metres, including 15.21 metres of 22.2% Cg and 5.81 metres of 35.78% Cg. 21GC064 returned 53.95 metres of 5.67% Cg from 77.3 metres. 21GOC68 returned 24.99 metres of 5.56% Cg from 57.73 metres, including 5.51 metres of 9.1% Cg.
Drill results continue to show consistent, near surface high-grade intercepts with numerous holes returning grades greater than 10% and up to 35.78% graphitic carbon (Cg). The deposit remains open down dip, as well as along strike to the east and west demonstrating potential for Graphite Creek to become a generational domestic graphite asset. The fault boundary to the north was more accurately identified, extending the mineralized zone in this direction by 50 to 75 meters down dip. Drilling targeted Inferred resources to upgrade to measured and indicated resource.
“Our 2021 drill results continue to demonstrate excellent continuity with our past exploration programs and should provide the opportunity to increase the resource and reserve estimates for the PFS,” said Anthony Huston, CEO. “With our planned mine area of approximately 1 km of the overall 16 km anomaly, our deposit remains open down dip and along strike to the east and west of the known resource – demonstrating that Graphite Creek has potential to become a critical domestic graphite supply for the United States for a long time to come.”
Graphite One will be incorporating these drill results in its upcoming Pre-Feasibility Study, which is expected to be filed within 45 days from the date of this press release. The PFS will update the known mineral resource, while providing new economic guidance on the project.
“The PFS will include the results from our 2021 program and should increase confidence that Graphite Creek is a generational asset – a vital graphite resource in the United States,” continued Huston. The United States currently has no domestic production and relies 100% on importing graphite to meet the nation’s energy transition needs.
“On January 15, 2021 Graphite One received notice that the company’s Graphite Creek Project has been designated a High-Priority Infrastructure Project (HPIP) by the U.S. Government’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Committee (FPISC). The approval is the culmination of a process that began on October 4, 2019 with Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy’s nomination of Graphite One’s project for High-Priority Infrastructure Project designation.”
“Designating the Graphite Creek Project as a High-Priority Infrastructure Project will send a strong signal that the U.S. intends to end the days of our 100% import-dependency for this increasingly critical mineral,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy in his nomination letter.
The company intends to make a production decision on the project once a feasibility study is completed.