Fast Track Path-to-Production Strategy is Expected to Jump-Start U.S. Battery Anode Material Supply
December 12, 2023 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Graphite One Inc. (TSX-V: GPH; OTCQX: GPHOF) (“Graphite One” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the delivery of synthetic graphite anode material samples for analysis by U.S.-based global end-users. Three of the active anode material samples delivered are each designed to meet different lithium-ion battery requirements: high energy capacity above 360 mAh/g; fast charging above 4C; and cycle life above 6,000 cycles, respectively. Graphite One’s updated plan is to first construct a synthetic anode material production facility to produce a range of synthetic anode materials. A natural graphite anode material production line would later be added, in time to receive natural graphite from Graphite Ones’s Graphite Creek deposit near Nome, Alaska once it is permitted and operating. Ultimately Graphite One intends to produce both synthetic and natural graphite anode materials for lithium-ion battery applications in North America.
The synthetic graphite samples were prepared for Graphite One by Sunrise (Guizhou) New Energy Material Co., Ltd. (“Sunrise”). The Company and Sunrise are currently negotiating a technical license agreement (“TLA”) to share expertise and technology for the design, construction, and operation of Graphite One’s proposed U.S.-based graphite material manufacturing facility. The TLA is intended to comply with the requirements of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) so that the use of the licensed technology itself to make Graphite One’s anode materials would not affect its customers’ eligibility to qualify for IRA tax credits. Sunrise had previously prepared natural graphite anode materials for Graphite One using Graphite Creek graphite concentrate.
“With the U.S. currently not producing any natural and synthetic anode materials, Graphite One has formulated a fast-track path-to-production strategy jump-starting our battery anode material production,” said Anthony Huston, Graphite One’s President and CEO. “In contrast to the typical resource development track, our strategic plan is to make Graphite One a synthetic anode material producer while Graphite Creek moves through permitting and into production. Ultimately, Graphite Creek’s natural graphite would supply our anode material facility alongside our synthetic production, to deliver a full range of natural and synthetic anode materials to EV customers, 100% manufactured in the United States.”
Mr. Huston continued: “Subject to financing and permitting requirements, we’re planning an early-stage commercial facility to produce a finishing and coating line for synthetic graphite by late 2025, with Phase 1 production of 25,000 tonnes of synthetic anode material by mid-2026 and rapid production growth from then on as market demand requires. Management currently anticipates construction and commissioning costs estimated at US$350 million subject to any unforeseen delays or varied market conditions. This is planned to be a direct path to revenue, even as we continue to develop our Graphite Creek natural graphite deposit.”
As the US Geological Survey has reported: “The Graphite Creek graphite deposit… is the largest known flake graphite resource in the USA and is among the largest in the world.”
The delivery of synthetic graphite anode material follows the completion of Graphite One’s 2023 drilling program, conducted with the support of a US$37.5 million Department of Defense Technology Investment Agreement grant under Title III of the U.S. Defense Production Act (“DPA”), which is funded through the Inflation Reduction Act. The grant reimburses Graphite One on a dollar-for-dollar basis for qualified expenditures up to US$37.5 million. As a result of the DPA grant and a strategic investment from Bering Straits Native Corporation, Graphite One completed a total of 28,669 ft of drilling—four times the drilling conducted in 2022—with 52 out of 52 resource holes intersecting visual graphite mineralization.
Graphite One’s Supply Chain Strategy
With the United States currently 100% import-dependent for natural graphite, Graphite One is planning to develop a complete U.S.-based, advanced graphite supply chain solution—synthetic and natural—anchored by the Graphite Creek resource. The Graphite One Project plan includes an advanced graphite material and battery anode manufacturing plant expected to be sited in the contiguous United States. The plan includes a recycling facility to reclaim graphite and the other battery materials, to be co-located at the manufacturing plant site, the third link in Graphite One’s circular economy strategy.
About Graphite One Inc.
GRAPHITE ONE INC. (TSX‐V: GPH; OTCQX: GPHOF) continues to develop its Graphite One Project (the “Project”) to become an American producer of high-grade anode materials that is integrated with a domestic graphite resource. The Project is proposed as a vertically integrated enterprise to mine, process and manufacture anode materials primarily for the lithium‐ion electric vehicle battery market. As set forth in the Company’s 2022 Pre-Feasibility Study, graphite mineralization mined from the Company’s Graphite Creek Property, situated on the Seward Peninsula about sixty (60) kilometers north of Nome, Alaska, would be processed into concentrate at an adjacent processing plant. Natural and artificial graphite anode materials and other value‐added graphite products would be manufactured from the concentrate and other materials at the Company’s planned advanced graphite materials manufacturing facility to be located in the contiguous United States. The Company intends to make a production decision on the Project upon the completion of its Feasibility Study.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
“Anthony Huston” (signed)
For more information on Graphite One Inc., please visit the Company’s website, www.GraphiteOneInc.com or contact:
CEO, President & Director
Tel: (604) 889-4251
Investor Relations Contact
Tel: (604) 684-6730
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, that address the expectations of Graphite One to produce both natural and synthetic graphite anode materials used in lithium-ion battery applications, the anticipated timing for production and amount produced of synthetic graphic, graphite materials manufacturing facility, the technical license agreement, receipt of regulatory approvals, exploration drilling, exploitation activities and events or developments that the Company expects, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are no guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include the ability for Graphite One and Sunrise to enter into a TLA, the actual compliance with the IRA that the TLA is anticipated to address, actual costs of construction and commissioning, receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continuity of mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and title and delays due to third party opposition, changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable securities laws. For more information on the Company, investors should review the Company’s continuous disclosure filings that are available at www.sedarplus.ca.