- Exploring alternative markets for zeolite
- Multiple applications across a range of industries
- Zeolite is one of several pozzolanic cementitious materials
What Progressive Planet Solutions does:
Progressive Planet Solutions Inc (CVE:PLAN) (OTCMKTS:ASHXF) is a Canada-headquartered mining company, which is focused on industrial minerals.
Its flagship asset is its Z1 zeolite quarry in British Columbia (BC). It is also earning a 100% option on the Z2 natural pozzolan property near Falkland in the Canadian province.
The firm, as well, owns a 100% interest in the Heffley Creek pozzolan property. All three of these projects are within a one-hour drive of the city of Kamloops.
Zeolite, which can be used as a pozzolan, has properties that make it very useful in many industries. For example, it is negatively charged and has a hollow molecular structure, which allows it to trap other materials for filtration.
It is used in a wide variety of applications: water purification, radioactive waste containment, composting, animal feed, as a pozzolan in cement and as an additive to soil, among others. It can also be used as a soil additive, with particular interest applications for cannabis.
Natural pozzolan is garnering increasing interest from the construction industry to use as an alternative to fly ash, the supply of which is dropping off as coal-fired power plants close.
When used in cement and concrete mixes, fly ash improves the strength of concrete and makes it easier to pump, hence the interest in finding a suitable alternative.
The company is focusing on monetizing zeolite in four areas: supplementary cementing materials, agricultural soil amendment (including cannabis applications), as a flowing/anti-caking agent for livestock feeds, and as an alternative to straight road salt for de-icing/traction aid.
How is it doing:
In September last year, Progressive Planet inked a partnership deal with the University of Alberta to modify its zeolite from the Z-1 Zeolite Quarry so that it would be similar to commercially available fly ash. The value of the contract was reported as C$20,000.
And on April 21 this year, the group's shares doubled in value as it revealed that the research with the university had been a success. The group revealed that its revised proprietary mix design achieved a slump that exceeded the target slump of the fly ash based mix design.
Significantly, the group said it is now eyeing the 2021 construction season when it aims to have a commercial product ready for the concrete industries in British Columbia and Alberta.
Regarding the cannabis space, last October, the firm said it had filed a United States provisional patent application for a "pelleted fertilizer product incorporating biomass as a binder" after it produced pellets using waste cannabis biomass to bind various minerals and they possessed good durability.
PLAN said it was aware that the amount of biomass generated as a waste product when hemp and cannabis are grown to produce cannabinoids was increasing rapidly in North America. This material does not compost quickly, while sending it to landfill creates methane, a very harmful greenhouse gas.
In an update in March, the firm revealed that it expects to start exploration at its Z-2 and the Z-3 pozzolan properties in late April or early May, when the snowpack is melted and it is dry enough to conduct fieldwork.
The intention is for Z-2 to start to quantify the amount of natural pozzolan contained in a certain area, while at Z-3, it aims to conduct soil work while completing further testing in areas previously drilled by LaFarge Canada, which identified natural pozzolans.
At the Z-1 property, the focus is on renewing the Notice of Work (license to mine the property), which is up for renewal in July this year, while Progressive Planet continues to draw down on the previously mined stockpile of natural pozzolan as required.
Notably, the firm said it had seen success from using its Z-1 natural pozzolan to denature cannabis and this has led to additional extraction companies requesting samples and pricing. Progressive Planet sees this as a growth opportunity in 2020.
- Start of testing on its proprietary blend as alternative to fly ash
- Exploration at its Z-2 and the Z-3 pozzolan properties
- Notice of work renewal for Z-1
What the boss says:
"We are very excited about the potential for our natural pozzolan assets and affiliated cementitious building products in development to contribute to the effort of reducing the carbon footprint of the cement industry," Progressive Planet's chief executive Steve Harpur said in a corporate update in March.
"The PLAN team, which welcomed Mike Wypych as COO in February 2020, is accelerating our efforts to lay the foundation for significant commercialization and expansion in 2020," he added.