Lomiko Metals CEO Paul Gill discusses being neighbors with the only graphite producer in North America and graphite’s role in the EV market.
In the interview below, Gill talks about the two potentially economically viable graphite deposits on Lomiko’s flagship graphite property in Quebec and how being neighbors with the only graphite producer in North America sets the company apart from its peers.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Lomiko Metals CEO Paul Gill. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please give our investor audience an overview of Lomiko Metals and its flagship La Loutre property in Quebec.
Lomiko Metals CEO Paul Gill: Lomiko is an exploration-stage company focused on finding green materials, specifically lithium, graphite, nickel and copper, for the EV, lithium-ion battery and clean technology sectors. Our flagship La Loutre graphite property is located in Quebec. We’re working towards developing a feasibility study for one of the deposits.
INN: What work has been completed on the project to date?
PG: To date, we’ve completed a resource and 125 drill holes on the property. There is one area in particular that we feel is feasible, but not economic quite yet. We’ll continue to drill there. Approximately 200 meters from our first deposit, we’ve found another high-grade deposit that we’re developing a resource for.
The two areas are not contiguous, but self-contained, and close to the surface. Currently, we’re not going to combine the deposits. We’re going to drill them further and, depending on the results, we’ll then look at joining them. We’re just excited to have two deposits that we can work on and source graphite from. Once you’ve established a resource that contains 10 percent graphite, you’re economic and can expect to receive $1,500 per ton for your product.
INN: What are the uses of graphite?
PG: Graphite has been primarily used in steel production, but is also used in brake shoes for high-end cars and airplanes, lubricant and pencil lead. However, graphite demand has been spiking due to its use in EV batteries.
In the past, synthetic graphite was created for use in EV batteries by burning bitumen, which isn’t environmentally friendly. Currently, we have found a way to convert natural graphite into spherical coated graphite in a green way so it can be used in the anode of the battery.
We want to look to the future, and we’re talking to investors who want to participate in the growing EV market and ensure that EVs are the future of transportation. Canada, as a whole, will have a large part to play in this vision, and Quebec especially because it has both lithium and graphite.
INN: How big do you think the EV market will get?
PG: Currently, over 60 lithium-ion battery factories are being built worldwide. That’s 60 factories that are going to need lithium and graphite. Lithium-ion batteries contain 15 times more graphite than lithium, which most people don’t know. On the cost side, lithium prices are high because demand is high, and the same thing is happening with graphite.
Major graphite suppliers, like China, have reduced the amount of graphite they export to make high-end batteries themselves, which is going to result in a graphite shortfall and a rise in prices. Bloomberg expects the price of graphite to rise by approximately 5 to 10 percent by 2020. By 2030, 15 times the graphite is going to be required, and five to seven new mines will need to come online to meet that demand. Currently, there is only one graphite mine operational in North America.
INN: Who are your competitors?
PG: There is competition between explorers, but not producers. What sets us apart from our peers is that we’re based in a good jurisdiction and have access to good infrastructure. Additionally, we’re situated approximately 150 kilometers from an international port at Montreal and 50 kilometers north of Imerys Graphite & Carbon’s graphite mine, the only graphite producer in North America. We’re trying to get off the ground, and at a C$3 million market cap, we have a growth potential that can’t be matched.
INN: Why should investors consider Lomiko Metals?
PG: I’m invested in the company and continue to buy our stock. I’ve spent over five years developing the company to get to where we are today, and as we develop our deposits, we’re going to be adding more value to the company.
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