VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Graphite One Inc. (GPH: TSX-V; GPHOF: OTCQB) (“Graphite One” or the “Company”) announced today it has initiated a pilot scale program with the first step being the shipment of approximately 12,000 pounds of raw graphitic material from Graphite Creek’s surface sampling program to Graphite One’s U.S.-based industrial partner for processing into advanced graphite materials.
“This is a significant step towards our goal to establish our STAX flake graphite as the key raw material in the value-added, all-American supply chain from mine-to-value-added processing, and beyond that to batteries and other original equipment manufacturer applications,” said Anthony Huston, CEO of Graphite One. (See additional detail on Graphite One’s STAX Graphite below.)
While the industrial partner is unnamed for purposes of preserving the Company’s competitive advantage, it is an established industry enterprise credited for its work with the U.S. Government and the commercial graphite and carbon industry.
The pilot program is expected to produce critical data and sample material for the Pre-Feasibility Study of the Company’s Graphite Creek Project. The Project includes the mining and processing of graphitic material near Nome, Alaska as well as the production of coated spherical graphite and other advanced materials from that precursor at a processing plant whose location is to be finalized.
Working closely with Graphite One, the industrial partner will conduct primary and secondary processing of the Graphite Creek material, to include production of batches of value-added products for market sampling in the electric battery/energy storage and other high profit margin market segments.
Launching of the pilot program for the Graphite Creek Project coincides with the welcome news of the emerging U.S. Government’s recognition of a need to reduce the United States’ dependence on imports of certain critical minerals which form the building blocks of U.S. energy independence. Pursuant to President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order #13817, dated December 20, 2017 and entitled: “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals”, the Secretary of the Interior in May 2018 published the final list of 35 mineral commodities deemed “critical” under the definition provided in the Executive Order. Natural crystalline flake graphite, such as the kind available at the Graphite Creek deposit, is on the Critical Minerals List. Natural graphite currently makes up about 46% of lithium-ion battery anodes with synthetic (artificial) graphite accounting for about 43% (Avicenne Energy, 2017).
Mr. Huston’s recent op-ed in The Economic Standard on graphite’s place in the context of Critical Minerals issues can be viewed here.
About STAX Graphite’s Unique Features and Ongoing R&D Work
Graphite One’s graphite mineralization has been discovered to be unique and distinct from other known graphite materials as it exhibits naturally the morphological characteristics of an already-processed material. To highlight these unique properties, the Company has branded Graphite Creek graphite by the acronym “STAX”: “S”, as in Spheroidal; “T”, as in Thin; “A”, as in Aggregate; and, “X” as in Expanded. The Company has applied to trademark “STAX GRAPHITE” in the United States and Canada.
One measure of performance comparison is discharge capacity, a measure of a battery’s energy storage capability once first charged. The best results with STAX coated spherical graphite (“C-SPG “) achieved reversible discharge capacity as high as 370.1 Ah/kg – or 0.5% below the theoretical maximum possible. For uncoated spherical graphite (“U-SPG”), the best result achieved the theoretical maximum of 372 Ah/kg. In other tests with STAX U-SPG, the first discharge capacities of most showed a deviation of just 1% from the theoretical maximum and the greatest deviation was 3%. In addition, all the STAX tests performed demonstrated the ability to achieve the same or similar discharge capacities in repeated subsequent charging/discharging cycles.1
The ability to reach and closely approach theoretical maximum discharge capacity and to consistently maintain high repeated values on cycling demonstrates the high performance potential of STAX graphite.
Research and development work is ongoing to better understand and quantify the significant features of STAX graphite as well as assess its performance in commercial equipment for establishing purchase specifications. The unique morphologies of STAX graphite may well turn out to be the major competitive advantage of Graphite One by contributing to lower costs and superior performance.
About Graphite One
GRAPHITE ONE INC. continues to develop its Graphite Creek Project (the “Project”), whereby the Company could potentially become an American producer of high grade Coated Spherical Graphite (“CSG”) that is integrated with a domestic graphite resource. The Project is proposed as a vertically integrated enterprise to mine, process and manufacture high grade CSG primarily for the lithium-ion electric vehicle battery market. As set forth in the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment, potential graphite mineralization mined from the Company’s Graphite Creek Property is expected to be processed into concentrate at a graphite processing plant. The proposed processing plant would be located on the Graphite Creek Property situated on the Seward Peninsula about 60 kilometers north of Nome, Alaska. CSG and other value-added graphite products would likely be manufactured from the concentrate at the Company’s proposed graphite product manufacturing facility, the location of which is the subject of further study and analysis. The Company intends to make a production decision on the Project once a feasibility study is completed.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
"Anthony Huston” (signed)
For more information on Graphite One Inc., please visit the Company’s website, www.GraphiteOneInc.com or contact:
CEO, President & Director
Tel: (604) 889-4251
Investor Relations Contact
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts that address implementation of a more established shipment program, exploration drilling, exploitation activities, future production, establishment of a processing plant, and events or developments that the Company expects, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, continuity of mineralization, uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and title and delays due to third party opposition, changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, and continued availability of capital and financing, and general economic, market or business conditions. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, except as required by applicable securities laws. For more information on the Company, investors should review the Company's continuous disclosure filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
1 Source: NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Analysis on the Graphite One Project; dated June 30, 2017 and filed July 12, 2017.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5141ddc3-ddb9-4818-89f4-97264ccd04ab