Graphite mining in the US is a hot topic for both investors and the US government. However, currently very little graphite exploration is taking place in the US.
Graphite mining in the US is clearly a hot topic for both investors and the US government. However, despite that interest, very little graphite exploration is taking place in the US, and as a result, there are very few US graphite stocks available to invest in.
In fact, at the moment just two companies are making progress at graphite exploration in the US. They are Alabama Graphite (TSXV:ALP) and Graphite One Resources (TSXV:GPH). Here’s a look at what those companies are up to now and why they’re interested in the US.
US graphite stocks: Alabama Graphite
Alabama Graphite holds two flake graphite projects in Alabama: Coosa and Bama. Respectively, they are in Coosa County and Chilton County, and according to the company both are “within the heart of a previously producing region.”
The company’s work this year has largely centered around Coosa. It’s been conducting drilling there, and this past summer announced that it’s begun a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the project. Release of the PEA is scheduled for November 27, 2015. Alabama Graphite also announced the initiation of a pilot plant for Coosa, noting that by Q4 2015 it expects to have “multiple tons of … finished graphite” available to send to potential offtake partners for evaluation.
Perhaps most importantly, an updated mineral resource estimate for Coosa was published on October 13. It shows that the project holds an indicated resource of 78,488,000 tons at 2.39 percent graphitic carbon, and an inferred resource of 79,443,000 tons at 2.56 percent graphitic carbon, both using a 1-percent cut-off grade. According to the company, that’s the largest indicated graphite resource in the US.
Investors who’ve been watching Alabama Graphite may also remember that it’s been in the news for another reason this year. Back in March it announced the discovery of “naturally occurring flake graphene” at Coosa, drawing attention because no other company has ever claimed to have found natural graphene.
As yet, not much more information about the discovery has been released, though Alabama Graphite did say a couple of months later that it had found “additional types of naturally occurring graphene-based derivatives called few-layer graphene (2-5 layers), multi-layer graphene (2-10 layers), and graphite nanoplates (less than 100 nm thick)” at Coosa.
Even so, the story continues to pique interest, and many market watchers remain eager to learn more about what the company has found. Co-CEO Ron Roda said at the time of the second announcement, “[w]ork is ongoing on commercial scalability of our naturally occurring graphene and graphene-based derivatives. We are encouraged by the potential of developing natural alternatives to synthetic quality graphene derivatives at a lower cost.”
Also noteworthy is the company’s appointment of Don Baxter as co-CEO and director in June. Baxter, formerly of Focus Graphite (TSXV:FMS), will help move the PEA for Coosa forward and help develop offtake agreements, among other duties.
US graphite stocks: Graphite One Resources
Graphite One Resources is focused on the Graphite Creek deposit, which it bills as North America’s largest-known flake graphite deposit. Graphite Creek is located in Alaska, and consists of 129 mineral claims covering 6,799 hectares. According to Graphite One, it “controls all prospective lands with known graphite mineralization in the region.”
An updated mineral resource estimate for Graphite Creek published in March 2015 shows that it has an indicated resource of 17.95 million tonnes grading 6.3 percent graphitic carbon at a cut-off grade of 3 percent. Its inferred resource stands at 154.36 million tonnes grading 5.7 percent graphitic carbon, also at a cut off of 3 percent.
Significantly, TRU Group’s Stage B Report on Graphite Creek, completed this past April, shows that mineralization at the project has “distinguishing features can be described as Spheroidal, Thin, Aggregate and EXpanded, or STAX.” The company said at the time that it was applying to trademark STAX in association with Graphite Creek graphite, and believes that STAX could positively impact the PEA for the project.
Originally, that PEA was expected to be released in Q2 2015. However, the company announced a brief suspension to work on the PEA following the STAX announcement, and most recently completed a non-brokered private placement for gross proceeds of $1,359,234.94.
Money raised will be put toward exploration and development at Graphite Creek. Graphite One is also said it plans to close a further financing for gross proceeds of $600,000.
While graphite mining in the US isn’t currently taking place, there are certainly US graphite stocks that investors can turn to. And with both Alabama Graphite and Graphite One both on the move, there are plenty of catalysts to watch.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Alabama Graphite and Graphite One Resources are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.
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