- Exploring alternative markets for zeolite
- Multiple applications across a range of industries
- Exploring for nickel at one of its British Columbia assets
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.
The group's flagship asset is its Z1 zeolite quarry in British Columbia (BC). The group 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:
Significantly, Progessive Planet recently has taken a further step towards commercializing its pozzolan product by signing a second collaboration research deal for testing it with the University of Alberta in Canada, as the firm revealed on August 20.
The news came after results of the first collaboration with the University showed that the blend from the firm's Z-1 quarry with pulverized glass was superior to the rheology of the fly ash blend.
"If we achieve successful results from these additional tests, we will have completed all the testing required to give the ready mix and pre-cast concrete industries confidence to use our Natural Pozzolan Blend," CEO Steve Harpur told investors.
"With a fully functional comminution plant in place to pulverize Natural Pozzolan from the Z-1 Quarry and to pulverize post-consumer glass, we intend to introduce this product during the 2021 construction season."
The second collaborative research agreement will cover five tests including compressive strength, Alkali-silica reaction, sulphate resistance, air void, freeze-thaw resistance.
Also in August, the group said it was accelerating exploration at Heffley Creek for the rest of this year after it uncovered a nickel-in-soil anomaly
Earlier in the same month, the company reported that a soil survey had defined the anomaly, which housed greater than 300 parts per million (ppm) nickel, for a strike length of just over 500 metres. The anomaly is open along strike to the south and north, and uphill to the east.
Follow up grab samples included assays of greater than 1,000 ppm (0.1%) nickel with two returning values as high as 2,180 and 2,130 ppm nickel, the firm said.
Nickel is big news at the moment. It makes batteries energy dense meaning cars can run further on a single charge so it is becoming increasingly important to the growing electric vehicle market.
On the funding front, in August, Progessive announced two financings for total gross proceeds of up to C$467,500. The first being a non-brokered private placement of up to 3.5 million units at $0.065 each to be used for general working capital and to repay loans made to the group by Countryman Investments Ltd.
The second financing consists of a non-brokered flow-through private placement of up to 3 million units at $0.08 apiece to be used for continued exploration on the company's 100% owned Heffley Creek project.
In June, the firm revealed it had arranged for new credit facilities of up to C$300,000, including a fixed-rate term loan for up to C$200,000 to finance the purchase of equipment to increase its capacity to produce fine rock powders (comminution) from both its own mineral assets as well as the ability to complete toll processing contracts for third parties.
- More assays and exploration from Heffley Creek
- Nickel price moves and developments in the space
- University of Alberta test findings
What the boss says:
Speaking to Proactive on August 17 following the Heffley Creek nickel news, Progressive Planet chief executive Steve Harpur explained how the company had not been searching for nickel but was very "happy and grateful" to have discovered it, though pointed out it was very early days.
It had been relatively quiet concerning the metal in recent years but that has changed recently, he explained to Proactive's Christine Corrado.
"Elon Musk has been making some strong public statements with respect to nickel being produced with a lower carbon footprint and we've started to hear people talking about nickel companies," he said.
"We are extremely early stage. We will be doing a very accelerated program for the rest of this exploration season, putting additional personnel on the site to fast-track soil and bedrock sampling," he added.