Battery Metals

Graphite Investing

Which graphite stocks have gained the most so far this year? These five companies on the TSXV, TSX and ASX are up the most year-to-date.

While the graphite market has been relatively quiet so far this year, experts are optimistic that the rest of 2018 will bring more excitement.

The critical metal is used in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric cars, and surging demand for these vehicles has market watchers calling for a tighter market this year.

Many investors are looking to stocks as a way to gain exposure to the space. Below is a list of the five graphite stocks that have gained the most so far this year. Stocks listed on the TSXV, TSX and ASX with market caps above $10 million as of July 16, 2018 were considered. If we missed a company you think should be included, please let us know in the comments.

1. Hexagon Resources (ASX:HXG)

Current price: AU$0.19; year-to-date gain: 97.92 percent

Hexagon Resources is an exploration company based in Western Australia. Primarily a graphite company, it also explores for nickel, copper and platinum-group metals. The McIntosh flake graphite project is is flagship property, and is situated north of Halls Creek in Western Australia. The project is estimated to hold 337,700 tonnes of contained graphite.

In March, Hexagon announced favorable test work results from McIntosh, saying that Argonne National Laboratory has described material at the site as “HOPG-like” — a rare find in the graphite space. That same month, the company signed a binding heads of agreement with Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) for stage-one development at McIntosh.

Fast forward to June, and Hexagon declared an oversubscribed institutional placement, raising $7 million. The firm says the funds will be put towards a feasibility study and pilot plant for McIntosh. This month, Hexagon announced that the feasibility study at McIntosh will begin, and is expected to complete by October 2019. The study will involve a 12,000-meter drilling program.

2. Bass Metals (ASX:BSM)

Current price: AU$0.03; year-to-date gain: 66.67 percent

Bass Metals is another graphite stock based in Western Australia. The company’s flagship project is its producing Graphmada large-flake graphite mine in Eastern Madagascar. Bass Metals is planning a stage-two expansion in 2019 at Graphmada with the intention of reaching annual production of 20,000 tonnes; it is also fast tracking the development of a lithium project in Madagascar.

This year has been a big one for Bass Metals, which in March declared it had completed delivery of stage-one optimization and refurbishment of Graphmada, and would be moving forward with commercial ramp up. In July, Bass Metals released an operational update, saying that it anticipates reaching its nameplate stage-one objective of 500 tonnes per month of premium graphite concentrates by the end of its first fiscal quarter.

3. Canada Carbon (TSXV:CCB)

Current price: C$0.11; year-to-date gain: 37.5 percent

Canada Carbon is a Canadian exploration company based in Quebec. It has three graphite properties in the province, two of which are past-producing mines. Its current focus is the Miller hydrothermal lump-vein property, which spans approximately 100 square kilometers, and has a history of graphite mining dating back to 1845. The company’s Asbury asset also has a long history of interest from various companies over the years.

In May, Canada Carbon closed a non-brokered private placement, raising $224,000. The company says this money will be used to fund its legal battle against the Municipality of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge. The Miller project is currently being blocked by the municipality, and Canada Carbon is suing it for $96 million in the event that the Miller project is unable to be developed as planned.

4. Buxton Resources (ASX:BUX)

Current price: AU$0.15; year-to-date gain: 30.43 percent

Next on the list is Buxton Resources, another Australian outfit based in Western Australia. Buxton is a diversified exploration company that is on the hunt for graphite, as well as nickel, copper, gold, lead, zinc, precious metals, base metals and iron ore deposits. The company holds the Yalbara graphite project, located near Meekatharra in Western Australia. Buxton’s geological team has delivered a preliminary exploration target of 8 to 12 million tonnes grading 7 to 11 percent carbon at the project.

In the first half of 2018, Buxton had several announcements, all regarding projects focused on other commodities.

5. NextSource Materials (TSX:NEXT)

Current price: C$0.09; year-to-date gain: 28.57 percent

Last on our list of graphite stocks is NextSource Materials. NextSource holds the feasibility-stage Molo graphite project, which it is advancing toward production. Molo’s total combined graphite resource clocks in at 141.28 million tonnes at 6.13-percent total graphitic carbon, with a contained ore reserve of 22.44 million tonnes at 7.02-percent carbon.

In February of this year, NextSource announced that top graphite processing engineer Oliver Peters will be commissioning Molo and acting as its principal process engineer consultant for phase one. NextSource expects phase-one production at the asset to reach 17,000 tonnes per annum of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate.

More recently, the company said that its Sagar property in Quebec has been receiving attention for its potential to host “significant cobalt mineralization.”

The data for this article was retrieved on July 16, 2018. Companies on the TSXV, TSX and ASX with market capitalizations greater than $10 million were considered.

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

Editorial Disclosure: Canada Carbon and NextSource Materials are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.



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