In a recent interview with Epstein Research Alabama Graphite Corp. (TSXV:ALP,OTCQX:ABGPF) President & CEO, Donald Baxter, discussed the company’s Coosa Graphite Project.
Please describe Alabama Graphite Corp. to readers unfamiliar with the story.
Baxter: Alabama Graphite Corp, “AGC” (TSX VENTURE:ALP) (OTCQX:ABGPF) (FRANKFURT:1AG) is an emerging U.S. producer of specialty, secondary-processed, final graphite products. We are not a conventional graphite play, but rather we aspire to be a green-energy, supply chain company. AGC presented me with my first opportunity to advance a graphite company strategically from the onset, as opposed to attempting to optimize a business strategy that had already been committed to.
Virtually every emerging graphite company claims a strong management team. How is your team different?
Baxter: We have an accomplished management team and Board intently focused on the green-energy supply chain, and we believe we have the best people in the industry to deliver battery-ready products. Jean Depatie, P.Geo., our Chairman, put the world’s largest graphite mine (the Stratmin Lac-des-Iles Graphite Mine) into production. Director Daniel Goffaux, P.Eng., served as his President, building the Stratmin mine from mere mining claims to an ISO-compliant graphite producer in just three years. Director H. David Ramm, Chairman & CEO of California-based BrightSource Energy, Inc. is also tremendous asset.
If the dual-pronged approach outlined by the PEA is so compelling, why aren’t peers doing the same?
Baxter: Simply put, a lack of CSPG expertise/experience, time and money. Many graphite development companies hope to upgrade a portion of their graphite concentrate to battery-grade, but may not have the CSPG engineering expertise to do so. If successful in upgrading a portion of production, companies would still be left with tens of thousands of tonnes of primary produced (unfinished) graphite concentrate to place into the market. Even if companies decide to pursue similar strategies to ours, an updated PEA and subsequent Feasibility Study would be needed. This would require significant time and capital, both of which are in short supply these days.
Regarding competitors, we feel the market for conventional unfinished graphite concentrate outside of China is stagnant. I believe the conventional business model for flake graphite development companies (intending to produce traditional run-of-mine graphite concentrate of various flake sizes and purities) has become unsupportable for the foreseeable future. AGC plans to only sell products that are in demand today, most notably CSPG.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with readers?
Baxter: In summary, Alabama Graphite Corp. (TSX VENTURE:ALP) (OTCQX:ABGPF) (FRANKFURT:1AG has a unique approach to graphite production, as detailed in our PEA. Instead of facing fierce competition at the primary processing stage where flake size, purity, head grade and other metrics dominate, we intend to deliver small scale (5,000 Mt/yr in years 1-5) production of CSPG (and by-product PMG). We believe, our flake is ideal for producing CSPG, with demonstrated yields of ~75% in lab testing.
Security of supply and geopolitical stability is increasingly important, that’s why we’re excited about our green, Made-in-USA opportunity. Our proximity to existing and new U.S. battery makers is a compelling factor in the risk/reward analysis of the investment thesis. Our management team, Board and Technical team is second to none. We look forward to releasing the results of our CSPG testing in batteries in mid-to-late January.