02/01/2015, RS Mines Newsletter - January 2015, issue 1.1
Types of mining & types of graphite, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There are two main types of mining, open mining, like in Canada & Australia, utilise huge land excavators (image on the right) to extract thousands of tons of material, sadly, this process inevitably destroys the environment, wildlife and landscape. Further to this the cost to refine the chosen material, in this case graphite, be very complicated and costly, and with extracted TGC being as low as 10%-15%, the highest purity levels that can be achieved after refining reach a maximum of 92%, with the final product being weak in terms of electrical, heat and diamagnetic properties. Ratio of extraction must also be considered, the amount of material that needs to be extracted from lower grade open pit mines is far greater when compared to underground deep mining.
Deep mining, which is the mining process RS Mines executes at the Queen's Mine in Sri Lanka, creates a labyrinth of underground tunnels, the extracted materials are all utilised, and this process causes no damage to the landscape nor is the environment harmed. With levels of carbon reaching 99%+ in the naturally occurring graphite veins, such as those at RS Mines’, The Queen’s Mine, there is no better form of graphite that can be found anywhere in the world. Below are two photos from inside the Queen's Mine, to give you an idea of the underground tunnels that are made during the mining process. Click on the images to enlarge.
Environmental Damages Caused by Open Pit Mining
No need for any words here, photographs say it all...click to enlarge...
Types of Graphite
In terms of emerging graphene technologies, the raw material that you use to start will have a direct impact on the end performance of the application. Take a look at the video below on choice of materials by Robert Murray Smith on You Tube, if you read the comments on the you tube page, there is one individual who comments on graphite.com.co...
Synthetic graphite is the only other material that achieves 99%+ carbon purity, however the manner in which this man-made material is created is from high temperatures – the synthetic graphite produced is stressed, Raman Spectroscopy analysis (executed by AZ Electronics, now owned by Merck) illustrates this fact (http://graphite.com.co/raman-spectroscopy-comparison), the cost to produce this material is also very high causing end user pricing to escalate and range from 20k usd - 30k usd per ton.
Natural crystalline vein graphite on the other hand reaches 99%+ purities, naturally, more importantly the material possess high diamagnetic properties, and when compared side by side in terms of electrical conductivity and heat conductance the natural 99%+ carbon, crystalline vein graphite, surpasses the synthetic stats. Amorphous graphite, Flake graphite, and Carbon Black, sit behind synthetic. In the coming months we will be illustrating this with side by side analysis comparison.
Graphite such as the crystalline vein graphite found at RS Mines’ the Queen’s Mine, uses include graphene enhanced energy storage, graphene solar cells, printed graphene electronics, 3D graphene printing and flexible-crack proof graphene touch screens for smartphones & tablets. There is only one choice when making graphene and that is to use the best starting material, 99%+ crystalline vein graphite – there is nothing better, well actually there is, the RS007 product line (7 micron aps crystalline vein graphite powder, 99%+C)
We hope this update has been informative to you,
Sheriozha Anthony Wijekoon,
Director, RS Mines pvt ltd. www.graphite.com.co
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