This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
Ontario Mining Association member Ontario Graphite is planning on putting its namesake substance back into the mineral mix of products being turned out by the province’s mining industry. Ellerton Castor, Chief Financial Office and Chief Administrative Officer of Ontario Graphite, expects production from the company’s Kearney Mine to begin before the end of the year. The mine anticipates producing 20,000 tonnes of large-flake, high-carbon graphite concentrate annually from the processing of about one million tonnes of ore.
All governmental permits have been approved and the company has the green light to begin operations. “The Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s decision to grant the remaining permits and approvals for this project marks a critical turning point towards beginning production at the Kearney Mine,” said Jerry Janik, General Manager for Ontario Graphite. “This milestone reflects our company’s strong commitment to the responsible re-commissioning of the mine site, with a particular focus on environmental sustainability.”
The mine will recycle 85% of the water from the mine in the milling stage. Also, non-graphite bearing rock on the property will be re-used as aggregate for construction projects by others in the region.
The operation plans on providing 80 full-time direct jobs, which holds the potential for more than twice as many spin-off jobs. The Kearney Mine originally opened in 1989 but then closed in 1994. Since then, it has been kept on a care-and-maintenance basis meeting all environmental and regulatory requirements. New ownership and management took over the property in 2007. Upon re-opening, there is an anticipated mine life of 30 years.
“It is important for us to be a responsible corporate citizen and a good neighbour,” said Mr. Castor. “We’re building positive partnerships with the Town of Kearney, the local Aboriginal communities and others in the Kearney area. We value their support and feedback and look forward to working together in the months and years ahead.”
Ontario Graphite is a privately owned Canadian mining company involved in the re-commissioning and operation of the Kearney Mine, which is believed to be the largest confirmed source of graphite in North America and one of the largest deposits outside of Asia. The mine is located in Kearney, Ontario, about 300 kilometres north of Toronto. To learn more about Ontario Graphite check out www.ontariographite.com.
The uses of graphite break down approximately as 26% in steel, 20% in carbon brushes and batteries, 15% in castings, 14% in brakes, 14% in lubricants, 7% in pencils and 4% other applications.
When production commences graphite will regain its place in the province’s mix of mineral products along with gold, nickel, copper, zinc, platinum group metals, diamonds, salt, gypsum, calcium carbonate, nepheline syenite, talc and others. Ontario Graphite became a new OMA member officially at the most recent board of directors meeting held in early June.