Torch River Resources Ltd.

Published : September 03rd, 2013

Torch River/Saint Jean Carbon CEO interview

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Keywords :   Australia | Canada | Gold | Lithium | Report | Sri Lanka |
Interview with Graphite Investing News

Last month, Graphite Investing News (GIN) had the opportunity to sit down with Paul Ogilvie, CEO of Torch River Resources (TSXV:TCR), a Canadian company whose goal is to become a pure-play lump graphite miner.  

In the interview below, Ogilvie discusses his team�s background, the company�s property acquisition plans and how lump graphite is priced.

PO: Our team came together around seven years ago, well ahead of the curve in terms of identifying the graphite sector as the place to be. That process began with a company called Industrial Minerals. It�s now called Northern Graphite (TSXV:NGC). A number of folks before us had tried to get the graphite property it held off the ground; however, our team created the first real financial models, engineering design and NI 43-101 resource report on the project. All of that was ultimately the framework required to finally put the project on the right track.

From there, we moved on to build Mega Graphite, which was focused on a large-flake graphite project in Southern Australia. It was and remains a good project aside from ownership issues that have delayed its development for the time being. We then worked in 2012 on expanding Bolero Resources into a more focused graphite company. In the process, we changed its name to Canada Carbon (TSXV:CCB) to better reflect its acquired graphite properties in Quebec. As that work proceeded, it became clear to us that pursuing a lump graphite business model made enormous sense. So we�re now working on two of our four lump projects: those in Quebec, and of course the larger project in Sri Lanka-graphite-lump-chip-iluka-bora-bora-kropfmuhl/" target=_blank>Sri Lanka. We believe both have the potential to be game changers when it comes to any other graphite project in the world. For anyone to actually do this on a commercial level, instead of just on a one-vein-at-a-time level, is pretty significant.

While mining guys are well represented on our team, we have an equally strong group that comes from the engineering, sales and marketing worlds. This is critical because the graphite business is driven primarily by sales, marketing and R&D. On that basis, I feel our team is very experienced, certainly in North America and in other places around the world. Collectively we understand graphite mining, processing and purifying, all of which leads to developing innovative products, including making the right chemistry ready for lithium-ion batteries.

GIN: Could you give a bit more of a rundown on Torch River? From your website I see that the company is currently undergoing a transformation.

PO: That�s correct. Torch River � which hopefully soon will be named Saint Jean Carbon � is a public company that was turned over to our team to build out. Originally it was in the moly andgold business with related properties. I took on the project of transforming the company because the board really wanted to be in the graphite business.. I was very conscious of the quality of some of the lump properties that were going to become available, so it was a nice fit for both my team and the board of Torch.

GIN: What will happen to your non-graphite properties as the company makes this shift?

PO: As I noted, our focus now is the graphite business. We have people calling all the time to discuss our other assets. We believe they�re good assets for the right company; I would imagine that in the next year or two we�ll find good homes for these properties.

GIN: In July, you announced that you�re working towards a merger that will put you in a better position to develop Sri Lankan lump graphite deposits. How is that progressing?

PO: We are working through all the terms � it�s fantastic. I�m limited in what I can say, except I will tell you that it�s roaring right along. We�ve been working closely with our partners in the project for more than two months and I believe the probability of us closing is extremely positive. They know our team and that was instrumental in us being able to come together. There were some bigger contenders competing with us, but I believe we won because at the end of the day we demonstrated that we understand the business, we bring a complete and experienced team, we know how to manage a project and we could arrive at a deal that works for everyone. We�re very proud of that.

GIN: What about the Walker property in Quebec? Has your acquisition been finalized?

PO: We have closed the transaction to acquire the past-producing Walker lump graphite mine. As you are aware from our previous release, our composite grab sample yielded grades as high as 89.5-percent Cg in the first sampling program. Subsequent work on the Walker property is immediately planned and will comprise a more complete sampling program and structural analysis of the exposed vein system. We also are moving forward to close Wallingford and Saint Jovite, also past-producing lump mines.

GIN: What makes Torch River stand out from its competitors?

PO: As I�ve noted, we have a realistic understanding of the dynamics of the graphite business. For example, it might seem obvious, but high grades generally mean lower operating costs and better margins. Over the past few years there has been a rush to develop a lot of graphite properties, and I think some of those economic realities have been overlooked.. I think we also have an excellent handle on what those costs can and should look like. So whenever we assess a project, we come at it trying to make sure the project works on all levels � and that includes being able to effectively satisfy the varied requirements of graphite customers. That was a principle factor in pursuing the Sri Lankan project. There you can get graphite out of the ground and on a truck for roughly $100 a ton. There�s a profound difference between that and, let�s say, Ontario projects with a cost base upwards of $1,300 to $1,400 a ton. Quebec projects with their higher grades are looking at $800 to $1,000 a ton. So a cost difference such as that between Torch and these projects will represent a distinct competitive advantage for us. Keep in mind, I�m not including our Quebec projects in that statement as our projects are lump.

The other significant thing is that a lot of our material comes out of the ground at extremely high purity, in the 95-percent-plus Cg range. That means you actually have material that you can sell at between $2,000 and $3,000 a ton without extensive upgrading. Even the high-quality material of Ontario-type projects still has to be upgraded to get into those numbers because the grade is so low. That can be another $1,000 in upgrading costs over and above the $1,400. So from a profitability standpoint, you can�t compete with our material. Synthetic can�t compete with it and no other graphite miner can compete with it.

Those grades also dramatically reduce our anticipated capital expenditures to build the facilities necessary to mine and process our material. Our current budget planning is projecting costs of $10 to $12 million to become fully operational. Compare that to a typical Ontario or Quebec large-flake project, which is looking at $140 to $150 million, and you can quickly begin to see the impact on overall profitability and return on investment. Ultimately, when we look forward six or seven months from now, we see ourselves as the largest holder of lump graphite in the world and plan to be in production before anybody else.

GIN: Could you go over how lump graphite is priced in comparison to other types of graphite?

PO: I think it�s important to note that all graphite has a crystalline structure, whether it�s large, medium or small flake, amorphous or lump. Flake and lump are similar in that they both have highly ordered crystalline structures, whereas amorphous has a more irregular structure. The ordered structure of flake and lump make them ideal for a wide range of applications, while amorphous has a more limited range. The principal difference between flake and lump, of course, is the grade. Flake grades typically range from 2 to 10 percent, while lump such as that found in Sri Lanka can easily be in excess of 80 percent. Amorphous grades are generally in between 15 and 30 percent.

These grades are also a reflection of purity. With lump being roughly a solid mass, the level of impurities is very low. In some cases, a low grade can be offset somewhat by the fact that the graphite is a good-quality material. Each of these factors influences price. Flake and lump graphite that is processed to 98-plus-percent purity with mesh sizes of +35 to 80 should be able to achieve prices between $1,800 to $2,500 per ton. Amorphous, with its different structure, sells for $800 or $1,200 a ton. The great thing about our lump graphite is the low cost per ton. This gives us significant latitude when it comes to being price competitive for customers. This will also give us broad access to a wide range of global markets while allowing us to operate profitably.

GIN: Is there anything else you want to add?

PO: I think we�re building the most successful company coming down the pipe right now. I truly believe that the more the world gets to know us the more we will be clearly recognized as the number-one upcoming graphite company. My team has been doing this long enough that I think most other graphite companies will have a tough time competing with us, whether it�s from a pricing, quality or execution standpoint. Keep a close eye on us, because we�re building the real deal.

GIN: Thank you for speaking with me. 

Sri Lanka/" target=_blank> Lanka/

Warmest Regards,

Laurie McCarney

Director, Corporate Communications


Torch River Resources

86 Wilson St.

Oakville, ON L6K 3G5

C: 289-937-0018


If you receive this email by mistake, please notify me and do not make use of the email.
Privilege, confidentiality or copyright associated with this email is not waived.

John R. Chalcraft, ProActive Communications
#201 - 2383 King George Blvd. White Rock, BC, V4A 5A4
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Torch River Resources Ltd.

ISIN : CA79015E1060
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Torch River is a gold and copper exploration company based in Canada.

Torch River holds various exploration projects in Canada.

Its main exploration properties are MT. COPELAND, GROUSE MOUNTAIN, HIGHROCK ISLAND, NAHMINT and RED BIRD in Canada.

Torch River is listed in Canada, in Germany and in United States of America. Its market capitalisation is CA$ 2.2 millions as of today (US$ 2.2 millions, € 1.6 millions).

Its stock quote reached its highest recent level on December 31, 2007 at CA$ 0.91, and its lowest recent point on April 12, 2013 at CA$ 0.01.

Torch River has 44 888 000 shares outstanding.

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In the News and Medias of Torch River Resources Ltd.
3/22/2008The Hume Report
3/22/2008The Hume Report
Annual reports of Torch River Resources Ltd.
2008 Annual Report
Financings of Torch River Resources Ltd.
10/29/2013Announces Definitive Agreement and a Further Tranche of Priv...
9/18/2013Fwd: Torch River Closes $150,000 Private Placement, Manageme...
9/13/2013Announces Private Placement
8/28/2013Fwd: Torch River closes Private Placement
8/28/2013Closes Private Placement
7/3/2013Closes Private Placement
6/3/2013Torch River Announces Closing of Private Placement
5/28/2013Torch River Clarifies Closing of Private Placement
5/28/2013Torch River Arranges $75,000 Private Placement
5/28/2013Announces Private Placement for Proceeds of $75,000
5/16/2013Announces Closing of Private Placement And Sets Date for its...
5/8/2013Announces Private Placements for Proceeds of up to $900,000
3/14/2013Torch River announces private placement
3/13/2013Announces Private Placement
9/24/2012Torch River Private Placement News Release
9/24/2012Announces Private Placement
3/27/2012Torch River Private Placement News Release
1/30/2012Torch River News / Closes Private Placement
5/27/2011Announces Close of Private Placement and Drill Programs
4/25/2011Announces Private Placement
5/6/2010Closes Private Placement
4/1/2010Closes Addition to Private Placement
3/5/2009Closing of Private Placement
9/16/2008Announces Closing of Private Placement
6/27/2008Announces Closing of Private Placement
5/21/2008Announces Closing of Private Placement
5/6/2008Announces Private Placement
Project news of Torch River Resources Ltd.
11/20/2013Saint Jean Carbon (formerly Torch River Resources) proposes ...
11/6/2013Saint Jean Carbon Inc. (formerly Torch River) Featured by Re...
10/29/2013Fwd: Torch River to acquire Wallingford, St. Jovite projects
8/20/2013Torch River Closes Acquisition of Past Producing Walker Lump...
6/13/2013Torch River Resources News Release
5/21/2013Torch River Acquires Graphite Property
1/31/2012Pinetree Capital Increases Ownership of Torch River Shares
3/24/2010(Mt. Copeland)Receives Approval on Approval on Mt. Copeland Amending Agree...
3/9/2010(Mt. Copeland)Mt Copeland REE work program
11/12/2009(Mt. Copeland)Rare Earth Potential
6/23/2009(Nahmint)Three Jays, Happy John, Monitor-Nahmint Project Fieldwork Up...
2/12/2009(Nahmint)February 12, 2009
2/12/2009(Nahmint)formally options Nahmint Property
1/19/2009(Nahmint)Torch Signs LOI to Option 75% of Crown Grants & Nahmint Prop...
8/14/2008(Red Bird)More drill results from Torch River
1/11/2008(Red Bird)2008 Technical report
10/9/2007(Red Bird)Drill Results on next three holes at Red Bird
9/25/2007(Red Bird)further drill results at Red Bird
9/18/2007(Red Bird)Announces drill results on first three hols at Red Bird
8/27/2007(Red Bird) Red Bird Molybdenum Resource Increased by 40%
7/10/2007(Red Bird)Expands drill program at Red Bird
5/17/2007(Red Bird)Reports on summer drill program
Corporate news of Torch River Resources Ltd.
11/18/2013GOLD REPORT Interview with CEO of Saint Jean Carbon (Torch R...
10/31/2013Torch River changes name to Saint Jean Carbon Inc.
10/18/2013Torch River Signs Definitive Agreement for 113 Sri Lankan Lu...
10/15/2013Fwd: Torch River Achieves Purity Upgrade to 99.1%C on Walker...
10/15/2013Achieves Purity Upgrade to 99.1%C on Walker Graphite
10/9/2013Torch River Signs Term Sheet for 113 Sri Lankan Lump Graphit...
9/3/2013Torch River/Saint Jean Carbon CEO interview
8/15/2013Fwd: Torch River Plans Merger with Sri Lankan Company
8/15/2013Signs Term Sheet for the Acquisition of Wallingford & Saint ...
7/25/2013Torch River Plans Merger with Sri Lankan Company
7/16/2013Torch River Press Release
7/16/2013Announces Advisory Agreement and Shares for Debt Transaction
7/11/2013Torch River News Update
7/11/2013Walker Lump/Vein Graphite Property Composite Grab Sample Yie...
6/28/2013Cancels AGM and Options
6/28/2013Cancels AGM and Options
6/28/2013Cancels AGM and Options
6/13/2013Enters Binding Agreement to Acquire Walker Mine, Launches Ne...
5/16/2013Torch River News Release
5/9/2013Torch River News Release
4/30/2013Former Canada Carbon CEO, Paul Ogilvie, Ignites Torch
4/29/2013Torch River halt trading
5/30/2012Torch River News Release
3/26/2012Torch River News Release
2/7/2012Torch River News Release
1/11/2012Torch River News / Identifies 300 metre REE strike length
11/26/2011Torch River News
10/14/2011Pinetree Capital acquires Torch River shares, warrants
9/7/2011Torch River News Release
6/29/2011Begins Drilling Fort-Elden for Copper/Silver/Gold
4/19/2011expands Fort Elden for copper and zinc, 1700m drill program ...
4/19/2011Expands Fort-Elden for Copper and Zinc
6/28/2010Updates on Geological Work Conducted on the Fort-Elden Prope...
4/26/2010Recent Results from Fort-Elden Copper Property
4/12/2010Options B.C. Copper Property
1/22/2009featured in the Victoria Times - January 22, 2009
1/2/2009option agreement
12/2/2008Resources Provides Copeland Mo Project 2008 Summary
9/19/2008Reports on Red Bird drilling
8/13/2008Reports Drill Update at Mt. Copeland
8/12/2008Reports Drill Results at Red Bird
6/17/2008Announces Drill Programs
5/30/2008Grants Options
5/26/2008Featured on Yahoo Finance Small Cap Show
2/14/2008 Acquires Mt. Copeland Formerly Producing 2.6M Lbs.. of Mol...
1/15/2008Red Bird Molybdenum Resource Increased by 29%
12/12/2007Torch River announces gold investment in Tagish Lake
10/3/2007Initiating Coverage ; Red Bird Resource Expansion
8/29/2007President on the Radio
8/2/2007Red Bird Drilling Update and Grouse Mountain Approval
7/4/2007Purchases New Silver Claims
6/26/2007and the Owners of Mount Copeland Mutually Agree to Discontin...
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