Montreal, Quebec – January 10, 2024 ‑ Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSX.V: LMR) (“Lomiko Metals” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has successfully completed half-cell coin battery testing of its La Loutre graphite material with Polaris Battery Labs, LLC (“Polaris”). Polaris prepared La Loutre’s coated spherical purified graphite (cSPG) material from flotation concentrate samples and subjected it to half-cell coin testing to determine its basic material electrochemical performance metrics. The total mass of cSPG used was approximately 160g and originated from coated purified samples from the Corem innovation centre in Quebec, Canada. These samples were micronized and spheronized by ProGraphite in Germany. The samples are deemed representative of the La Loutre deposit. Polaris will continue the test program in 2024.
Belinda Labatte, CEO and Interim Chair of the Board stated: “These initial results from half-cell battery testing (“the Polaris Study”) confirm excellent graphite properties as detailed below, thus providing conditions for Lomiko to progress into Phase 2 project activities to produce and test single-layer pouch cells; these are full cells using our graphite anode material tested against an industry relevant cathode material. The Polaris studies are another step we are taking as a part of an approach to assessing the suitability of our graphite anode materials in a full-cell format. As the Company grows in its journey as a partner and developer of choice in Quebec, it will further review the applications for its graphite in North America and the energy transition.
Lomiko is completing the entire ‘rock-to-battery’ testing cycle as part of its Pre-Feasibility Study (“PFS”). The half-cell battery testing is now complete with exceptional results, and it is continuing with the graphite anode pouch cell construction and testing in Phase 2 with Polaris.
Concurrent with these studies, Lomiko is also working on the “NRC Study” announced on July 27, 2023, which aims to advance pre-feasibility level battery trials with its La Loutre natural flake graphite concentrate.”
Background and Summary of Lomiko Metallurgical Tests
The testing cycle started in the summer of 2022 with a drill core provided from the existing core storage. These core samples originated from both the Battery and EV zones of the La Loutre deposit and are considered representative.
The first study (“The ProGraphite Characterization Study”) was performed on concentrate that was produced from 640kg core samples that were homogenized and processed at SGS Lakefield to produce a graphite flotation concentrate. Various pre-feasibility (“PFS”) level metallurgical tests and a study were completed, including optimization of the flotation circuit, resulting in achieving 94.7% recovery and reconciled LCT (Locked Cycle Testing) testing grades at 99.1%Cg. For detailed results, please see the press release dated February 6, 2023. The work was directed by Metpro Management Inc.
In the second study, “The ProGraphite SPG Study”, testing was completed on a 10.5 kg bulk flotation sample prepared by SGS Canada Inc. ProGraphite, Germany, used this sample for micronization, spheroidization, and purification testing to produce spheroidized and purified graphite (SPG), which is the material required for the anode in Electric Vehicles (EVs). All physical characterization tests produced very good results, such as narrow particle size distribution range and high tap density and meet the target values for Electric Vehicle and other lithium-ion based battery applications. Two purification methods were investigated on the La Loutre SPG, namely alkaline and acid purification. A total of 100 g of the SPG20 spherical graphite was subjected to intensive alkaline purification. For detailed results, please see the press release dated May 3, 2023.
The micronized and spheronized graphite was then purified and carbon coated by Corem to produce coated 20g of spherical graphite cSPG16 & cSPG20 for the Polaris Study.
The Polaris Coin Cell Study
In “The Polaris Coin Cell Study”, cSPG batches were sent to Polaris in Oregon, USA, for battery testing, including half-cell coin and pouch battery testing. At this point, Lomiko is reporting only on the half-cell testing results. Pictures of the half-cells made with Lomiko cSPG are pictured in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Lomiko graphite Half-cell batteries produced and tested by Polaris (SPG16 top, SPG20 bottom)
Highlights of this study:
Reversible delithiation capacity at C/10 of ~356 mAh/g and ~358mA/h respectively, which is above the commercial reference graphite material testing at an average 345mA/h. C-rating describes the current the battery will deliver over the specific period, with C/10 being 10 hours. The testing showed that our graphite is more stable and efficient than the commercial reference graphite as shown in Figure 2 and 3 below.
All half-cell coin batteries were constructed using 20g of cSPG and 304SS CR2032 coin cell can components.
Figure 2 and Figure 3 depict the charging (delithiation) performance of the cSPG20 and cSPG16 samples from La Loutre, respectively, at different charge rates. The plots reveal the good performance of the La Loutre SPG with superior charging capacity compared to commercial graphite in the market today in North America.
Figure 2: comparison plot of sample SPG20 versus a commercial graphite reference
Figure 3: comparison plot of sample SPG16 versus a commercial graphite reference
Both SPG16 and SPG20 outperform the commercial reference in achievable gravimetric capacity which means that with the electrochemical performance results produced by Polaris, Lomiko has now successfully demonstrated the full value chain from ore to battery anode material on samples from the La Loutre project.
In Phase 2, cathode and prepared anodes will be combined into a single-layer pouch cell format to undergo a basic testing regime with possible extended testing which will allow Lomiko to demonstrate technical specs to meet battery manufacturing requirements.
Mr. Oliver Peters, a Principal Metallurgist with Metpro Management Inc., is a Qualified Person within the meaning of NI 43-101. Mr. Peters is satisfied that the analytical and testing procedures used are standard industry operating procedures and methodologies, and he has reviewed, approved and verified the technical information disclosed in this news release, including sampling, analytical and test data underlying the technical information.
About Lomiko Metals Inc.
The Company holds mineral interests in its La Loutre graphite development in southern Quebec. The La Loutre project site is within the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (KZA) First Nation’s territory. The KZA First Nation is part of the Algonquin Nation, and the KZA traditional territory is situated within the Outaouais and Laurentides regions. Located 180 kilometers northwest of Montreal, the property consists of one large, continuous block with 76 mineral claims totaling 4,528 hectares (45.3 km2).
The Property is underlain by rocks from the Grenville Province of the Precambrian Canadian Shield. The Grenville was formed under conditions that were very favorable for the development of coarse-grained, flake-type graphite mineralization from organic-rich material during high-temperature metamorphism.
Lomiko Metals published April 13, 2023 Updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) which estimated 64.7 million tonnes of Indicated Mineral Resources averaging 4.59% Cg per tonne for 3.0 million tonnes of graphite, a tonnage increase of 184%. Indicated Mineral Resources increased by 41.5 million tonnes as a result of the 2022 drilling campaign, from 17.5 million tonnes in 2021 MRE, with additional Mineral resources reported down-dip and within marble units resulted in the addition of 17.5 million tonnes of Inferred Mineral Resources averaging 3.51% Cg per tonne for 0.65 million tonnes of contained graphite; and the additional 13,107 metres of infill drilling in 79 holes completed in 2022 combined with the refinement of the deposit and structural models contributed to the addition of most of the Inferred Mineral Resources to the Indicated Mineral Resource category, relative to the 2021 Mineral Resource Estimate. The MRE assumes a US$1,098.07 per tonne graphite price and a cut-off grade of 1.50% Cg (graphitic carbon).
In addition to La Loutre, Lomiko has earned-in its 49% stake in the Bourier Project from Critical Elements Lithium Corporation as per the option agreement announced on April 27th, 2021. The Bourier project site is located near Nemaska Lithium and Critical Elements south-east of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory in Quebec, which consists of 203 claims for a total ground position of 10,252.20 hectares (102.52 km2), in Canada’s lithium triangle near the James Bay region of Quebec that has historically housed lithium deposits and mineralization trends.
On behalf of the Board,
CEO and Director, Lomiko Metals Inc.
For more information on Lomiko Metals, review the website at www.lomiko.com
Contact Gordana Slepcev at 647-781-7344 or Belinda Labatte at 647-402-8379 or at 1-833-456-6456 or 1-833-4-LOMIKO
or email: email@example.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation that is based on expectations, estimates, projections and interpretations as at the date of this news release. The information in this news release about the Company; and any other information herein that is not a historical fact may be “forward-looking information” (“FLI”). All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are FLI and can be identified by the use of statements that include words such as “anticipates”, “plans”, “continues”, “estimates”, “expects”, “may”, “will”, “projects”, “predicts”, “proposes”, “potential”, “target”, “implement”, “scheduled”, “intends”, “could”, “might”, “should”, “believe” and similar words or expressions. FLI in this new release includes, but is not limited to: the Company’s objective to become a responsible supplier of critical minerals, exploration of the Company’s projects, including expected costs of exploration, and timing to achieve certain milestones, including timing for completion of exploration programs; the Company’s ability to successfully fund, or remain fully funded for the implementation of its business strategy and for exploration of any of its projects (including from the capital markets); any anticipated impacts of COVID-19 on the Company’s business objectives or projects, the Company’s financial position or operations, and the expected timing of announcements in this regard. FLI involves known and unknown risks, assumptions, and other factors that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially, and statements relating to the intended use of proceeds of the Offering and the receipt of final acceptance of the TSX Venture Exchange. This FLI reflects the Company’s current views about future events, and while considered reasonable by the Company at this time, are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies. Accordingly, there can be no certainty that they will accurately reflect actual results. Assumptions upon which such FLI is based include, without limitation: current market for critical minerals; current technological trends; the business relationship between the Company and its business partners; ability to implement its business strategy and to fund, explore, advance and develop each of its projects, including results therefrom and timing thereof; the ability to operate in a safe and effective manner; uncertainties related to receiving and maintaining exploration, environmental and other permits or approvals in Quebec; any unforeseen impacts of COVID-19; impact of increasing competition in the mineral exploration business, including the Company’s competitive position in the industry; general economic conditions, including in relation to currency controls and interest rate fluctuations.
The FLI contained in this news release are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, the “Forward-Looking Statements” section contained in the Company’s most recent management’s discussion and analysis (MD&A), which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com, and on the investor presentation on its website. All FLI in this news release are made as of the date of this news release. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update or revise any such forward-looking statements or forward-looking information contained herein to reflect new events or circumstances, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.