Which graphite stocks have gained the most so far this year? These five companies on the TSX and TSXV are up the most year-to-date.
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As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution moves forward, many expect increasing EV sales to drive demand for graphite, a key metal in lithium-ion batteries.
Even though pricing for the metal has been disappointing for some investors in the past few years, 2021 kicked off with what seemed to be a slight turn for flake graphite prices. Since then, a number of Canadian graphite stocks have seen impressive year-to-date gains.
Below is a look at 2021’s top graphite stocks year-to-date on the TSX and TSXV. All year-to-date and share price information was obtained on October 1, 2021, from TradingView’s stock screener. All companies listed had market caps above C$10 million at that time.
1. Gratomic (TSXV:GRAT)
Year-to-date growth: 270.59 percent; current share price: C$1.26
Exploration and advanced materials company Gratomic has two graphite projects: Aukam in Namibia and Buckingham in Quebec. The company has two offtake deals for Aukam, which covers a historical vein graphite mine, and is solidifying plans to micronize and spheronize graphite from the asset.
The Aukam graphite project is currently in preparation for Phase 3 of its life, which will allow the mine to realize its full potential with an estimated 20,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity vein graphite production. The company is also working towards completing a preliminary feasibility study on the Aukam processing plant, which recently transitioned into wet commissioning.
Year-to-date growth: 228.89 percent; current share price: C$2.96
Toronto-based NextSource Materials is a mine development company in the final development stage at its 100 percent owned Molo graphite project in Southern Madagascar. The Molo project is a fully permitted, feasibility-stage project and is the only project with SuperFlake graphite.
As outlined in the company’s 2019 feasibility study, Phase 1 of the Molo graphite mine is estimated to cost US$25 million, including working capital. Production capacity is expected to be approximately 17,000 tonnes per annum of SuperFlake graphite concentrate, with FOB operating costs of US$566 per tonne.
Phase 1 is fully funded, with Molo expected to be the next graphite mine to enter production outside of China. The company does not require any more money to reach commissioning, which is on schedule for Q2 2022, after receiving US$29.5 million in funding in May 2021 from its strategic investor, Vision Blue Resources, founded by Sir Mick Davis.
3. Graphite One (TSXV:GPH)
Year-to-date growth: 185.71 percent, current share price: C$1.40
Graphite One is focused on becoming an American producer of high-grade coated spherical graphite primarily for the lithium-ion EV battery market. The company plans to develop its Graphite Creek deposit, located in Alaska, into a vertically integrated operation.
A 2017 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) estimates the project’s capital cost at C$363 million with a 40 year mine life. Once full production is reached in year six, the asset will produce 60,000 tonnes per year of graphite concentrate at 95 percent graphitic carbon.
Year-to-date growth: 81.82 percent, current share price: C$0.10
Lomiko Metals is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of resource properties that contain minerals for the new green economy. It owns 100 percent of the La Loutre graphite property and 20 percent of Promethieus Technologies.
A July 2021 PEA for La Loutre estimates an after-tax internal rate of return of 21.5 percent and an after-tax net present value of C$186 million. The PEA supports an open-pit project with production spanning 14.7 years at a sale price of US$916 per tonne of graphitic carbon; Lomiko believes the document presents attractive cash costs and all-in sustaining costs, low CAPEX and low capital intensity. The first eight years will target production averaging 108 kilotonnes per annum of payable graphite concentrate, peaking at 112 kilotonnes per annum in year four.
Year-to-date growth: 61.4 percent; current share price: C$0.46
Ottawa-based Northern Graphite’s main asset is the Bissett Creek graphite project in Southern Canada. Bissett Creek is an advanced-stage project with a full feasibility study and major mining permit, both of which put the company in position to make a construction decision, subject to financing. The project is located between the cities of North Bay and Ottawa, and is close to the Trans-Canada highway, providing ready access to labor, supplies, equipment, natural gas and markets.
The estimated capital cost for the project is C$110 million, with production planned for 2022. The mine is expected to produce an average of 25,000 metric tons of graphite concentrate per year for 23 years.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: NextSource Materials, Northern Graphite and Lomiko Metals are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.