Graphite One gains momentum until 2022
To begin a US graphite anode supply chain feasibility study north of 60 Mining News – December 31, 2021
Graphite One Inc. enters 2022 with increasing momentum as the company rapidly advances the largest known and highest grade graphite deposit in the United States towards development, as the transition to electric mobility and energies renewables is fueling a new demand for the advanced graphite materials it plans to produce.
Despite the challenges of COVID on the business climate and all aspects of operations, Graphite One has raised over C $ 30 million in capital, completed a successful drilling program to confirm the company’s projections for a long time. mine life based on drilling only 20% of the predicted trend of graphite mineralization and continued to advance R&D efforts on several advanced graphite materials that will serve the critical sectors of renewable energy and mining. technology, âsaid Anthony Huston, CEO of Graphite One Inc. the development of critical minerals as part of all infrastructure, as well as concerns about disruptions in the supply chain of These materials is a strong signal that momentum is changing in a way that aligns perfectly with Graphite One’s goals of being an integrated supply chain solution for advanced graphite materials. “
A first look at the company’s integrated graphite supply chain solution was presented in a 2017 preliminary economic assessment for a mine in Graphite Creek that would produce approximately 60,000 metric tonnes of 95% graphite concentrate per year. and a separate processing facility to refine these annual concentrates into 41,850 tonnes of coated spherical graphite used in lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and store renewable energy, plus 13,500 tonnes of purified graphite powders each year.
The company has since improved and extended the resource.
Based on a 2019 calculation, Graphite Creek harbors 10.95 million metric tonnes of Measured and Indicated Resources containing on average 7.8% (850,534 metric tonnes) of graphitic carbon, plus 91.89 million metric tonnes of Inferred Resources containing on average 8% (7.34 million metric tons) of graphitic carbon.
In 2021, the company conducted a 2,052-meter drilling program focused on expanding and upgrading this resource, as well as collecting data for feasibility studies of the mine and installation of Graphite One treatment.
With exploration to date only describing 20% ââof the projected trend of graphite mineralization, the mine that will be described in the next pre-feasibility and feasibility study represents only a portion of Graphite Creek’s potential to provide a supply. safe in household graphite for decades to come.
“Given the growth in demand that every end user tells me about and their concerns about the security of supply, we are prioritizing demonstrating that Graphite Creek is a robust and low risk source of graphite until” in the 21st century, âHuston said.
Graphite One plans to launch a pre-feasibility study in the first quarter of 2022, which will include an improved resource based on the 2021 drilling.
The company brings the project one step closer to advanced design and potentially enables a time when auto and battery makers need massive new supplies of graphite for the lithium-ion batteries needed for the rapid transition to electric vehicles.
The anodes of the lithium-ion batteries that power most electric vehicles are filled with graphite that has been rolled into potato-shaped spheres and covered with a hard carbon shell that is heat treated. The spherical shape allows the graphite to be packaged more efficiently in the battery cells, while the coating extends the life of the graphite.
Graphite One’s technology development partner, American Energy Technologies Co., based in Illinois, is working on the development of anode grade battery materials from a sample of Graphite Creek concentrate.
In 2021, China supplied 65% of the world’s mined graphite and produced 100% of the coated spherical graphite used by global automakers and battery manufacturers.
According to global lithium-ion battery experts at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a mega-battery capable of producing 30 gigawatt hours of annual capacity – roughly the size of Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory – requires around 33,000 metric tonnes of material. graphite anode per year.
The US Department of Energy recently said it expects 13 new mega-battery packs to be put into service over the next five years.
With similar battery factories expanding around the world, the World Bank predicts that the annual demand for graphite will increase by 490% by 2050.
âAs a result, the global graphite shortages originally forecast for 2024 or 2025 are now expected to begin as early as 2022,â Huston said.
American automakers denounce the need to expand North American supplies of the materials they need to move into electric vehicle manufacturing.
âWe have to get battery production here, but the supply chain has to go to the mines,â Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company, said in an interview with Detroit News. âThis is where the real cost is, and people in the United States don’t want mining in their neighborhoods. So, are we going to import lithium and mine cobalt from nation states that have the jobs of them. kids and all kinds of corruption, or are we gonna get serious about mining? “
“We have to solve these problems, and we don’t have a lot of time,” he added.
Along with developing a mine-to-battery anode supply chain that begins at Graphite Creek, the company is investigating several other advanced materials that can be produced from its project in Alaska.
These products include:
â¢ Graphite foam fire extinguishert – Tests carried out in December by a team of firefighting professionals from the Weapons Division at NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center in California showed that a foam formulation containing Graphite Creek material can extinguish fires from class B in accordance with military standards.
â¢ Synthetic diamonds Graphite One – Purified Graphite Creek material has successfully produced synthetic diamonds suitable for use in cutting tool applications, including hard surface coatings in drills, cutting and grinding discs, tool tips metalworking and other instruments designed for increased abrasion wear.
â¢ Semi-conductor grade diamonds -The Graphite One material has also been used to synthesize gem-grade blue diamonds doped with boron and nitrogen, which have increased hardness and engineered semiconductor properties. In a later study, this blue diamond was laser cut and polished. Graphite One is currently working with university and government partners to test the properties of synthetic diamonds derived from Graphite Creek in mechanical, semiconductor, thermal management and sensor applications.
â¢ Graphite A graphene material – Graphite One also submitted samples of Graphite Creek to Yale and Emory Universities for evaluation as a precursor to the manufacture of graphene for advanced water purification technologies.
âOur advanced work on graphite materials is driven by Graphite One’s commitment to serving the wide range of technological material applications that depend on graphite engineered to exacting specifications,â said Huston. âThe battery-grade anode material for electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries will be at the heart of our business value, but we know there is still more graphite that can be done to meet the urgent demand in industries ranging from environmentally safe fire suppression to transformation technologies in the semiconductor industry and the new world of graphene. Each of these product lines underscores the value of Graphite One’s integrated supply chain solution, as well as our belief in our company’s mission to deliver the technological materials that fuel global ingenuity.