Doubling Down: Cavan Ventures’ Two-Prong Graphite and REE Strategy Ramps Up in Quebec

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Complimenting its flagship Pythonga rare earth element (or ‘REE’) property, Cavan Ventures announced today that it will also be directing attention to its top graphite property, Buckingham.

Complimenting its flagship Pythonga rare earth element (or ‘REE’) property, Cavan Ventures announced today that it will also be directing attention to its top graphite property, Buckingham. The announcement of a 2nd phase program on Buckingham follows results delivered earlier in June on the property that included large flakes of graphite, returning with 21.7% organic carbon. Despite current market conditions, Cavan is aggressively staying active, and keeping shareholders who entered their fold for different reasons happy.

"We have a lot of people here that came into the company because of the Rare Earth potential at Pythonga,” says Peter Swistak, President and CEO of Cavan Ventures. “But, we also have a lot of shareholders who came in for the graphite, especially with the results we’ve witnessed at Buckingham.”

There are many similarities between graphite and REEs, in terms of post-production markets. Within the last three years, both graphite and REEs each witnessed solid runs in investment value thanks to shifts in supplies from China.

Changes in Chinese export policy put both commodities on shakier global supply grounds, as more than 90% of the world’s graphite and REEs are produced in China. A ramp up of investment to counter this upcoming drop-off was witnessed, with REEs getting much attention in 2010-2011, and graphite in 2012-13. However, the world is still looking to where the next supply for each will come from.

Many are seeing the answer coming from Quebec. Labeled as one of the friendliest mining districts in the world by Canada’s Fraser Institute, Quebec has the resources and incentives to help bridge the gap. For instance, projects such as Matamec Explorations’ upcoming Kipawa REE mine, and Focus Graphite’s upcoming Lac Knife mine each have benefited from Quebec’s helpful jurisdiction regulation.

With this in mind, much of Cavan’s portfolio strategically resides within Quebec’s borders. This includes both Pythonga (adjacent to Matamec’s Kipawa), and Buckingham, which is located within 30km of one of only two of Canada’s producing graphite mines.

Along with the favourable geology known across large portions of the province, Quebec also comes with a significant financial incentive. To encourage exploration work, Quebec rebates as much as $0.30 for every $1 spent into the ground, creating a 30% discount on drilling activity and other exploration work.

It is with this type of incentive that it’s not difficult to see why Cavan continues to be aggressive in its exploration. During their last exploration drill program, the company chose to tackle multiple projects at once, resulting in five of their projects delivering successful results. As well, the company makes no secret of its intentions to rack up more acreage when it sees opportunity.

“We certainly look for new acquisitions,” says Swistak. “We’re not shy about that and we’re not waiting for a better market. We’re remaining very active in order to bring value to the company and shareholders.”


With its second phase now newly announced, the Buckingham has a chance of becoming Cavan’s co-flagship property, along with Pythonga. Buckingham consists of over 2,200 acres next to the historical Walker Mine that reportedly mined graphite flakes of up to 25% carbon. During the days of Walker’s operation, Cavan’s property was actually included as part of the Walker Mine’s total area.

Since Walker ceased operation, the area has been reassessed, both by the government, and industry. In the 80s, the Quebec government flew the area and picked up two linear conductors within Cavan’s present property. These conductors came at 200m spacing, and measured at 200m and 1000m in length.

What followed were a series of grab and channel samples taken along the 1000m conductor. Carbon values ranging from 0.46% to 11% carbon were found, with the top values within a 4m wide banded paragneiss.

Approximately 400m to the North of the 1000m conductor a second parallel conductor was identified. It was on this conductor that the June results that included flakes of graphite returning 21.70% organic carbon. Another conductor to the NW was later found, which contained a 2m wide outcrop with a value of 8.67% carbon.

Economical prospecting was also conducted along trails and gravel roads on the property, about 7km away from the main conductor. Even those samples ranged from 0.5% to 9.31% carbon.

“Anywhere if you’re looking at 5% graphite, that’s a good number,” says Swistak. “We came up with 21.70%, so obviously we’re more than placed. Buckingham certainly will bring a lot of love to the market here.”

It’s not surprising that Cavan has decided to re-enter this property for another round of exploration. Soon the team will be back to initiate a new program starting with line cutting, geophysical surveys, stripping and channel sampling.

Upon identifying the best anomalies and geological targets, Cavan will immediately start the drilling phase, which will include 1,000m of diamond drilling. It’s expected that this will start this month, and conclude before the end of summer.


While Buckingham will be getting the bulk of attention through July, Cavan will continue to value its Pythonga REE project as its flagship. With more than 24,000 acres held with 100% interest, Cavan’s Pythonga resides in a neighbourhood set to garner more attention in the near future.

Adjacent to the Pythonga property is the upcoming mine site for Matamec’s Kipawa REE Mine. Backed by major investment from a subsidiary of Toyota, Matamec recently completed its feasibility study on Kipawa, with results set to be released later this month.

Conversely, Cavan is at a much earlier stage of exploration, however Pythonga has already revealed itself to contain real economic potential for rare earths. The company already conducted a primary phase of prospecting over 360 testing sites, 80% of which were selected for rare earth potential.

While results are still trickling in, so far there have been some very positive highlights. Five samples returned values of higher than 2.1% total rare earths. Several dozen brought back values between 0.1% and 0.9%, showing that Cavan is aiming its sites in the correct places. Results of over limit assays for one channel sample (P268092) showed a total REE count of 831207ppm (or 8.31%).

The presence of Toyota in the neighbourhood is intriguing, however, as Pythonga’s proximity to Kipawa make it an easy takeover target in the future.

“I’m sure once Matamec goes into production we’ll be in a very good position,” says Swistak. “Who knows? Maybe we can cut a deal with Toyota’s subsidiary also.”

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