Hearst-area graphite junior miner opens pilot plant in Guelph.

The developer of a graphite mine near Hearst has cut the ribbon on a research and production facility in southern Ontario.

ZEN Graphene Solutions announced Feb. 4 of the grand opening of a Guelphbased small-scale pilot plant, and research and development centre.

The company (formerly Zenyatta Ventures) has high hopes for 2020 to enter the global market by delivering a refined product for end users, and potentially strike some commercial deals.

Over the years, ZEN has been developing the Albany Graphite Deposit near the communities of Constance Lake First Nation and the Town of Hearst.

At their site, 30 kilometres north of the Trans-Canada Highway, the company discovered a very rare, high-purity graphite deposit that's estimated to have an openpit mine life of 22 years and should produce 33,000 tonnes of graphite a year.

The project is at an advanced stage of exploration with an environmental assessment process underway.

Graphene is a highly prized carbon nanomaterial that has a multitude of uses, including in electric vehicle batteries, high-strength concrete, water desalination...

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