Zeolite has multiple applications across a wide range of industries
There are only two commercially viable zeolite deposits in western Canada.
Progressive's supplmentary cementing materials has potential to make stronger concrete, with a significantly lower carbon footprint
Strong research partnerships
Progressive Planet Solutions Inc (CVE:PLAN) (OTCMKTS:ASHXF), is a mineral exploration company that is focused on industrial minerals, with its flagship Z1 Zeolite Quarry in British Columbia, and a 100% interest in the Buckingham Graphite Project in Quebec
The zeolite producer aims to responsibly extract and process zeolite and create value added products using Z-1 natural clinoptilolite zeolite solutions.
"Zeolite has tremendous attributes," says CEO Stephen Harpur. "It is an aluminosilicate and it is formed from volcanic ash. It has properties that make it very useful in many industries. It is a negatively charged mineral and it has a hollow molecular structure, which allows it to trap other materials for filtration."
Zeolite is a mineral that looks a lot like a light gray gravel when dug up from the ground. It's 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 many other uses. It can also be used as a soil additive, with particularly interest applications for cannabis.
Progressive Planet purchased the Z-1 Clinoptilolite zeolite quarry, already in production near Cache Creek, BC in July 2018.
The firm is focusing on monetizing zeolite in four areas: supplmentary 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.
The firm also has strong research partnerships and has signed a contract with InnoTech Alberta Inc. to advance the development of battery materials.
How is it doing?
Progressive Planet has had a busy 2019, with a host of deals in play. The firm also bolstered its team over the last year, with the addition of multiple members to its board of directors, its advisory board as well as employees with backgrounds in engineering, geology, and chemistry.
In May, the firm announced it launched a new service to provide its signature zeolite to licensed cannabis producers to help them properly denature and dispose of the residual marijuana. The service is available to cannabis producers in British Columbia and designed to assist them in meeting provincial disposal regulations, according to a statement. It includes bulks bags of zeolite and collection of the denatured cannabis/zeolite blend.
READ: Zeolite miner Progressive Planet helping cannabis producers dispose of marijuana waste product
The company also announced it has started selling glacial rock dust as an excellent soil amendment, packed with trace minerals that are lost by erosion and modern farming. Glacial Rock Dust is a natural mineral product that is produced over many thousands of years by glacial action. Worked into the soil prior to planting, glacial rock dust, also known as rock powders and rock minerals, contain minerals and trace elements widely used in organic farming.
It improves soil structure, nutrient availability and bacterial action. The firm cast an eye on glacial rock dust after it received a supply request from a big customer which was already buying its zeolite volcanic mineral. The sale is the largest sale to date since Progressive Planet started to focus on developing industrial mineral products.
Greener concrete blends compelling
Progressive Planet's main focus will be on its efforts on using zeolite as a supplementary cementing material (SCM) to create stronger -- and more environmentally friendly -- concrete. Not to mention it is a lighter-weight concrete, thanks to zeolite's porous molecular structure.
"The cement industry is currently responsible for about 5% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions," noted the company. "PLAN believes there is a large opportunity to produce greener concrete blends."
This is known as Class N SCM, and there are a number of factors that makes this type of material more environmentally friendly than conventional cement. Class N SCM's are produced without the combustion of massive amounts of hydrocarbon fuels and are produced by grinding pozzolanic materials (including zeolite, pumice, diatomaceous earth, and kaolin).
The most common SCM used in North America today is fly ash, which is a Class F SCM. According to the firm, zeolite has been tested and performs better than fly ash for use by pre-cast and ready mix cement companies.
Z-1 Zeolite quarry has strong potential
There are only two commercially viable zeolite deposits in western Canada and Progressive Planet owns one of them, its Z-1 Clinoptilolite zeolite quarry, which is located near Cache Creek, BC. The zeolite at the mine is mined, crushed and screened and provided to customers at whatever particle size they want.
With the kind of zeolite Progressive is mining selling for upwards of C$100 per tonne, the potential of the project is clear.
Progressive Planet says there is an ever-increasing demand for the mineral and the market for zeolite in the US alone is expected to surpass US$4 billion this year.
The factors driving this growth includes a boost in the demand for products in the agricultural and environmental sectors as well as research advancements and new zeolite applications being developed continuously.
Contact Katie Lewis at [email protected]