Graphite One Resources Narrows Down List of Refinery Sites

Graphite One is one of only a few companies exploring for graphite in the US. The metal has not been mined in the country for over two decades.

alaska

Graphite One Resources (TSXV:GPH,OTCQX:GPHOF) hopes to be the first company to mine graphite in the US in over 25 years, and this week it took a step closer to that goal.

The company has been moving forward at its Graphite Creek deposit on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula, and announced on May 17 that it has now narrowed down its list of potential sites for a refinery.

In a new report prepared for Graphite One as part of a memorandum of understanding, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) says that out of nine potential sites, four have the power capacity to meet the needs of a refinery. The four locations are: Homer, Kenai, Seward and Port Mackenzie.

All four sites benefit from marine and surface infrastructure, a skilled workforce, available industrial-zoned land and tax exemption laws. AIDEA notes that while power costs at the sites “seem uneconomic,” negotiating a project-specific industrial rate is a possibility.

Overall, the company appears pleased with the results. “The AIDEA Report confirms the considerable interest Alaska localities have in serving as a base for our advanced-material spherical graphite refinery,” said Graphite One CEO Anthony Huston.

In 2015, the company released a resource estimate for Graphite Creek. It shows that the deposit holds 17.95 million tonnes indicated grading 6.3 percent graphitic carbon, and 154.36 million tonnes inferred at 5.7 percent graphitic carbon. Since then it has released a preliminary economic assessment for the project, and intends to move forward with a feasibility study.

Graphite One describes the graphite at Graphite Creek as “STAX” graphite, meaning that it is Spheroidal, Thin, Aggregate and eXpanded. According to the company, it offers an advantage when it comes to creating graphite for lithium-ion battery, energy storage and mobile technology manufacturers. Demand for graphite from all of those industries is expected to rise in the coming years.

In 2016, 98 American companies, primarily in the Northeastern and Great Lakes regions, consumed 24,200 MT of graphite valued at $25.6 million. The majority of graphite was imported from China and Canada, says the US Geological Survey — as mentioned, graphite is not currently produced in the US, and has not been for over two decades.

Few companies other than Graphite One are exploring for the metal in the country — Alabama Graphite (TSX:CSPG), which is focused on its Alabama-based Coosa graphite project, is one other. 

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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Graphite One Resources is a client of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.

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