10 Top Graphite-producing Countries

In 2016, China was the largest graphite producer by a wide margin, followed by India and Brazil. Find out which other countries made the list.

top magnesite producing countries

Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and also has the highest strength of any natural material. However, it wasn’t until recently that the metal began to gain popularity.

Interest in graphite is increasing in large part because lithium-ion batteries are becoming more and more common. These batteries are used in everything from phones to electric vehicles, and graphite is one of their key components. As the use of lithium-ion batteries continues to increase, graphite production is only expected to rise.

On that note, it’s interesting to look at which countries produce the most graphite. In 2016, China took the top spot by a wide margin, with India and Brazil coming in second and third, respectively. Here’s a brief overview of graphite production in those countries and in the other top graphite-producing nations last year. All stats are based on the most recent data from the US Geological Survey.

1. China

Mine production: 780,000 MT

As mentioned, China was the world’s largest graphite producer in 2016. It put out 780,000 MT of the metal, the same amount it produced in 2015. According to the US Geological Survey, the country accounted for 66 percent of world graphite production last year, and 35 percent of consumption.

Despite China’s current stranglehold on the graphite market, investors shouldn’t necessarily expect the Asian nation’s dominance to continue forever. That’s because in recent years the country has made an effort to streamline graphite production, and part of that process has been taking polluting producers offline. While some were originally expected to come back online, weak graphite market conditions have hampered that process.

2. India

Mine production: 170,000 MT

India produced much less graphite than China in 2016, but is still the world’s second-largest producer of the metal. Its total output last year came to 170,000 MT, the same amount it put out in 2015.

The country’s graphite reserves vary widely from state to state — as this Industrial Minerals article shows, Arunachal Pradesh holds 43 percent of India’s graphite reserves. The country has eight main graphite producers, including Tirupati Carbon & Graphite, Chotanagpur Graphite Industries and Carbon & Graphite Products.

3. Brazil

Mine production: 80,000 MT

Brazil is the world’s third-largest graphite producer, and with 80,000 MT of output in 2016, came in significantly behind India as well as China. As with those two countries, Brazil’s 2016 graphite output was flat from 2015.

Little information is available about the Brazilian graphite industry, as the country’s top producers of the metal are private. However, ETF.com does state that the country’s two largest graphite producers are Extrativa Metalquimica and Nacional de Grafite. In the past, Grafite MG was also a major Brazilian graphite producer.

4. Turkey

Mine production: 32,000 MT

Last year, Turkey’s graphite output remained steady from 2015 at 32,000 MT. The country produces low-quality amorphous graphite, another Industrial Minerals article states, and production has been irregular over the last few decades. Little other information is available about the country’s graphite industry.

5. North Korea

Mine production: 30,000 MT

Graphite production in North Korea stayed even from 2015 to 2016, coming in at 30,000 MT. There is little data on any of the country’s mining activities, as per The Wall Street Journal; however, reports suggest that the country’s graphite output may not be as high as the US Geological Survey has said.

6. Mexico

Mine production: 22,000 MT

Mexico’s graphite production came in at 22,000 MT in 2016, the same amount it put out in 2015. Graphite production in Mexico — mainly centered around the Hermosillo area in Sonora — began as early as the mid-1890s. In the past, Mexico was a globally dominant graphite producer; during the 1980s, the country was the second-largest graphite producing nation on the planet.

7. Canada

Mine production: 21,000 MT

Canada’s graphite production dropped significantly in 2016 to come in at 21,000 MT — that’s 9,000 MT less than in 2015.

Interest in Canada as a potential source of graphite has been rising for the past few years, particularly since Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) said it plans to source the lithium, graphite and cobalt it needs for its lithium-ion battery gigafactory from North America. Many graphite exploration companies are now working in Canada, with a few being Canada Carbon (TSXV:CCB), Canada Strategic Metals (TSXV:CJC), CKR Carbon (TSXV:CKR), Focus Graphite (TSXV:FMS), Great Lakes Graphite (TSXV:GLK), Lomiko Metals (TSXV:LMR), Noram Ventures (TSXV:NRM), Northern Graphite (TSXV:NGC), Eagle Graphite (TSXV:EGA) and Zenyatta Ventures (TSXV:ZEN).

8. Russia

Mine production: 15,000 MT

In 2016, Russia’s graphite output clocked in at 15,000 MT, just as it did in 2015. The country expects to significantly increase its production during the next several years due to the implementation of two investment projects, Dalgrafit and Uralgraphite. As with many of the countries on this list, little further information is available on graphite in Russia.

9. Norway

Mine production: 8,000 MT

Norway’s graphite output was flat from 2015 to 2016 at 8,000 MT. All graphite deposits in the country contain flake graphite, and are generally low tonnage. That said, many are in favorable locations — for example, close to the sea or to the electrical grid.

10. Madagascar

Mine production: 8,000 MT

Though listed as number 10 on this list, Madagascar is actually tied with Norway in terms of graphite production. In 2016, it produced 8,000 MT of the metal, up 3,000 MT from 2015.

A few companies exploring for graphite in the country include DNI Metals (TSX:DNI), Energizer Resources (TSX:EGZ), Capricorn Metals (ASX:CMM) and Bass Metals (ASX:BSM).

This is an updated version of an article first published on Graphite Investing News on May 24, 2015.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

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

Editorial Disclosure: Canada Carbon, Eagle Graphite, Energizer Resources, Focus Graphite, Lomiko Metals and Noram Ventures are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid for content.


This article is updated each year. Please scroll to the top for the most recent information.

Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, and also has the highest strength of any natural material. However, it wasn’t until recently that the metal began to gain popularity.

Interest in graphite is increasing in large part because lithium-ion batteries, which are used in everything from phones to modern vehicles, are becoming more and more common. Graphite is a key component of those batteries, and as their use increases, graphite production is only expected to rise.

On that note, it’s interesting to look at which country is the largest producer of graphite. In 2015, China took the top spot by a wide margin, with India and Brazil coming in second and third, respectively. Here’s a brief overview of graphite production in those countries and in the other top graphite-producing nations last year. All stats are based on the most recent graphite report from the US Geological Survey.

1. China

Mine production: 780,000 MT

As mentioned, China is the world’s largest graphite producer. In 2015, it put out 780,000 MT of the metal, the same amount it produced in 2014. According to the US Geological Survey, it accounted for 66 percent of world graphite production last year, and consumed 35 percent.

Despite China’s current stranglehold on the graphite market, investors shouldn’t necessarily expect the Asian nation’s dominance to continue forever. That’s because in recent years the country has made an effort to streamline graphite production, with part of the process being to take polluting producers offline. While originally some were expected to come back online, weak graphite market conditions have hampered that process. Additionally, a report from BMI Research indicates China’s domestic mining output growth has slowed dramatically overall, and will be increasingly lower than it has been over the last decade.

2. India

Mine production: 170,000 MT

India produced much less graphite than China in 2015, but is still the world’s second-largest graphite producer. Its total output last year came to 170,000 MT, the same amount it put out in 2014.

The country’s graphite reserves vary widely from state to state — as this Industrial Minerals article from 2014 shows, the highest are in Arunachal Pradesh, which holds 43 percent of India’s graphite reserves. The country has eight main graphite producers, including Tirupati Carbon & Graphite, Chotanagpur Graphite Industries and Carbon & Graphite Products.

3. Brazil

Mine production: 80,000 MT

Brazil is the world’s third-largest graphite producer, and with 80,000 MT of output in 2015, is significantly behind India as well as China. As with those two countries, Brazil’s 2015 graphite output was flat from 2014.

Little information is available about the Brazilian graphite industry, as the country’s top producers of the metal are private. However, ETF.com does state that the country’s two largest graphite producers are Extrativa Metalquimica and Nacional de Grafite. In the past, Grafite was also a major Brazilian graphite producer.

4. Turkey

Mine production: 32,000 MT

Turkey saw a slight increase in graphite production from 2014 to 2015, with output rising from 29,000 MT to 32,000 MT. The country produces low-quality amorphous graphite, another Industrial Minerals article states, and output has been irregular over the last few decades. Little other information is available about the country’s graphite industry.

5. Canada

Mine production: 30,000 MT

Canada’s graphite production held steady from 2014 to 2015 at 30,000 MT. Though listed as number five on this list, the country is actually tied in production with North Korea.

Interest in Canada as a potential source of graphite has been rising for the past few years, particularly since Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) said it plans to source the lithium, graphite and cobalt it needs for its lithium-ion battery gigafactory from North America. Many graphite exploration companies are now working in Canada, with a few being Canada Carbon (TSXV:CCB), Canada Strategic Metals (TSXV:CJC), CKR Carbon (TSXV:CKR), Focus Graphite (TSXV:FMS), Great Lakes Graphite (TSXV:GLK), Lomiko Metals (TSXV:LMR), Northern Graphite (TSXV:NGC), Eagle Graphite (TSXV:EGA), and Zenyatta Ventures (TSXV:ZEN).

6. North Korea

Mine production: 30,000 MT

Graphite production in North Korea stayed even from 2014 to 2015, coming in at 30,000 MT. As noted, it’s tied for fifth-largest producer with Canada. There is little data on the country’s mining activities, as per The Wall Street Journal; however, reports suggest that the country’s graphite output may not be as high as the US Geological Survey has said.

7. Mexico

Mine production: 22,000 MT

Mexico’s graphite production came in at 22,000 MT in 2015, the same amount it put out in 2014. Excitement about graphite in Mexico was running high in 2014, when Flinders Resources (TSXV:FDR) announced plans to acquire Big North Graphite; however, the deal ultimately fell through and Big North is now off the radar.

8. Russia

Mine production: 15,000 MT

In 2015, Russia’s graphite output clocked in at 15,000 MT, just as it did in 2014. In 2012, the country decided to increase its graphite production; prior to that time, the country had faced a shortage of graphite. As with many of the countries on this list, little further information is available on graphite in Russia.

9. Norway

Mine production: 8,000 MT

Norway’s graphite output was flat from 2014 to 2015 at 8,000 MT. All graphite deposits in the country contain flake graphite, and are generally low tonnage. That said, many are in favorable locations — for example, close to the sea or to the electrical grid.

10. Zimbabwe

Mine production: 7,000 MT

Finally, Zimbabwe produced 7,000 MT of graphite in 2015, the same amount as it put out in 2014. According to The People’s Voice, Zimbabwe is only one of two countries in Africa to host developed natural graphite mines. The Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe states that Lynx mine is the only mine producing graphite in the country. That being said, Zimbabwe’s only graphite mining is seeking joint venture partners who may be willing to provide $5.9 million to fund plant upgrades and equipment to start mechanised underground mining, together with exploration projects to increase the mine’s resource base, as reported by Mining Weekly can.

This is an updated version of an article first published on Graphite Investing News on May 24, 2015. 

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

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

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

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Comments
  • in Russia the figure is overstated by 45-50% percent (or get here artificial carbon and waste of metallurgical companies).
    At the same time Ukraine did not mention that produced and sold 13.8 thousand tons in 2015 (Flake). According to other possible true, but for investors, it would be better to separate the concept of graphite to amorphous and flake because these are two separate markets and amorphous to lithium-ion batteries do not has nothing in common.

    Reply
  • I would like too find out more about Rare Inc in Canada Graphite mine in Sweden. Can you advise how we may be able to buy IPO or pre-listing shares in this company.

    Reply

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