Zenyatta Ventures & Ballard Power Systems Make Significant Progress Using Albany Graphite in Fuel Cell Technology
Thunder Bay, ON
7 December 2015
Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. (“Zenyatta” or “Company”) (TSXV: ZEN and Ballard Power Systems Inc. (“Ballard”) (TSX: BLD; Nasdaq: BLDP) ) are pleased to provide a progress report utilizing high purity Albany graphite in the membrane electrode assembly (“MEA”) of a fuel cell. The MEA, which includes the gas diffusion layer (“GDL”), is a critical component of a Proton Exchange Membrane (“PEM”) fuel cell that must meet exacting performance standards for the fuel cell to perform properly.
Ballard recently prototyped GDLs with Albany graphite samples provided by Zenyatta. Ballard also made GDLs with benchmark (synthetic) graphite material currently in use today. Both GDLs were constructed using Ballard’s proprietary process to ensure a fair comparison. To date, all the properties of the GDL sample made with Zenyatta graphite were essentially identical to those of the benchmark GDL in all the functional tests that have been completed.
Bharat Chahar, VP Market Development, Zenyatta noted that, “These comparative test results continue to prove out the suitability of Albany graphite in demanding applications where exacting performance standards must be met for critical components. The fuel cell end-users need thousands of hours of trouble free operations during which the components of fuel cell stacks are exposed to a highly corrosive environment. We are extremely pleased to see the progress Ballard is making in proving the viability of Albany graphite in this demanding application. It is important to note that the material being tested by Ballard was ‘run-of-the-lab’ Albany graphite material produced with no special processing or customization for these tests.”
The GDL samples made by Ballard will be incorporated into a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and will be tested in a fuel cell stack to characterize baseline fuel cell performance. This will further test the viability of Albany graphite in realistic fuel cell operating environments.
Dr. Rajesh Bashyam, Senior Research Scientist, R&D for Ballard commented, “This is another significant step in the process of qualifying Zenyatta’s Albany graphite for existing fuel cell markets such as back-up power and materials handling. We are extremely pleased to be working with a new graphite material that may potentially give Ballard Power Systems a competitive advantage in the area of fuel cell sub-components.”
In a news release dated 12 August 2015, Zenyatta announced testing results by Ballard that samples of Albany graphite demonstrated high thermal and corrosion resistance properties. This screening process on Albany graphite material confirmed its suitability for use in the bipolar plate (“BPP”) and gas diffusion layer (“GDL”) for fuel cells. High thermal stability and corrosion resistance is critical in the performance of these components in fuel cells. For further information please refer to this news release and the Company website www.zenyatta.ca.
Dr. Bharat Chahar, P.E., VP Market Development for Zenyatta, is a Qualified Person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed, prepared and supervised the preparation of the technical information in this news release. CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: This testing does not represent a statistically large sample size. Furthermore, these positive results do not mean that Zenyatta can extract and process Albany graphite for high purity graphite applications on an economic basis. Without a formal independent feasibility study, there is no assurance that the operation will be economic.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT: Neither 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 release. This news release may contain forward looking information and Zenyatta cautions readers that forward looking information is based on certain assumptions and risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations of Zenyatta included in this news release. This news release includes certain "forward-looking statements”, which often, but not always, can be identified by the use of words such as "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "estimates", "may", "could", "would", "will", or "plan". These statements are based on information currently available to Zenyatta and Zenyatta provides no assurance that actual results will meet management's expectations. Forward-looking statements include estimates and statements with respect to Zenyatta’s future plans, objectives or goals, to the effect that Zenyatta or management expects a stated condition or result to occur, including the expected timing for release of a pre-feasibility study, the expected uses for graphite in the future, and the future uses of the graphite from Zenyatta’s Albany deposit. Since forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results relating to, among other things, results of metallurgical processing, ongoing exploration, project development, reclamation and capital costs of Zenyatta’s mineral properties, and Zenyatta’s financial condition and prospects, could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements for many reasons such as, but are not limited to: failure to convert estimated mineral resources to reserves; the preliminary nature of metallurgical test results; the inability to identify target markets and satisfy the product criteria for such markets; the inability to complete a prefeasibility study; the inability to enter into offtake agreements with qualified purchasers; delays in obtaining or failures to obtain required governmental, environmental or other project approvals; political risks; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; changes in equity markets, inflation, changes in exchange rates; fluctuations in commodity prices; delays in the development of projects; capital and operating costs varying significantly from estimates and the other risks involved in the mineral exploration and development industry; and those risks set out in Zenyatta’s public documents filed on SEDAR. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on Zenyatta’s forward-looking statements. Although Zenyatta believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward-looking information in this news release are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on such information, which only applies as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Zenyatta disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, other than as required by law.