Graphite play Metals Australia has proved it has very high grade zones of natural flake graphite at the surface of its Quebec project.

Investors liked the news, sending the Metals Australia’s (ASX:MLS) share price up almost 17 per cent to 0.35c.

The explorer’s share price has ranged between 0.3c and 1.1c over the past 12 months.

At the Lac Rainy project in Quebec, Canada, a sampling program returned results including 20.4m at an average grade of 15.6 per cent total carbon-within-graphite (Cg), including 4.5 metres at an average grade of 20 per cent Cg.

Typical graphite grades average around 10-15 per cent – so 20 per cent and above is very good.

Metals Australia says the length of the mineralisation has now been extended to more than 3km.

Within this, there is a high-grade zone – about 1.8km long – which returned multiple high grade intervals up to 29.5 per cent Cg.

The Metals Australia (ASX:MLS) share price over the past year.
The Metals Australia (ASX:MLS) share price over the past year.

Metals Australia director Gino D’Anna said the widths of the mineralisation were “better than expected”.

“Mineralisation starting at surface with such high grades is very encouraging,” he said.

Metals Australia wants to define a deposit “of sufficient tonnage” in the 15 to 20 per cent Cg range, similar to the nearby Lac Knife project owned by Focus Graphite (TMX:FMS), Mr D’Anna said.

“These exceptional channel sampling results have advanced us towards achieving this goal,” Mr D’Anna said.

More results from the program – the first step in defining a resource for the project — are expected in late November.

A drilling program will now kick off during the Canadian winter, following the analysis and interpretation of all the current assay results.