Lomiko Metals and Canada Strategic Metals have started 10,000m, 75-100 holes drill program at La Loutre.

Upon completion of drillng, the companies will assess the property for a resource and a pre-economic assessment (PEA) if needed.

A recent sampling program found high-grade, near surface mineralization at the property.

Lomiko Metals CEO Paul Gill said: "Drilling should reach a vertical depth of no more than 150 meters, the "rule-of-thumb" physical depth limit of a standard open pit.

"Our goal is to become a low-cost producer of graphite in Quebec. A good example of an open pit mining operation established on this principal is the Imerys Carbon and Graphite Mine located nearby."

Lomiko Metals said high standards play a key role to survive in the existing and future graphite market.

Recent PEA publications in the graphite industry suggest that capital expenditures of C$100m or more is needed to develop a project.

The company said the oversupply of graphite projects requiring sustained prices of more than $2500 per tonne suggests the need to deliver a low capital expenditure project with sustainable costs in the existing small, volatile market.