Aubrey Eveleigh describes the Albany graphite deposit in northeastern Ontario “as a real freak of nature.” “We never expected to find something like this,” he said. “I spent my entire career exploring for base metals and gold for the most part, so this is kind of new. I had never seen anything like this in my life. Neither did any geologist I knew.”
Eveleigh, president and CEO of Zenyatta Ventures, a junior miner based in Thunder Bay, was intrigued by a “whopping” electromagnetic conductor picked up by an airborne survey 30 kilometres north of the Trans Canada Highway near Constance Lake First Nation and Hearst.
“There’s no outcrop in this area, so there’s nothing on surface to suggest what this was. We thought it was massive sulphide until we drilled into it and intersected hundred of metres of graphite breccia.
“The way Dr. Andrew Conly of Lakehead University describes it, a billion years ago, there was a rifting environment here. We are on a major suture or fault zone that was part of the mid-continent rifting and that conduit tapped the mantle. The carbon … came up in the form of CO2 and CH4, and … crystallized into what it is today: pure crystalline, fine grained carbon… so it’s volcanic and igneous in origin unlike all the graphite deposits in the world today, which are flake graphite deposits.
“Flake graphite forms from a sedimentary process. It’s basically organisms floating around in an ocean. They die, settle to the sea floor and eventually get buried or sedimented. The material is subjected to temperature and pressure and turns into graphite. Then through plate tectonics, uplifting and erosion, it gets exposed at surface.”
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