Canada-based Graphite One Inc. announced that it received notice on 15 January 2021 that its Alaska-based Graphite Creek Project has been designated a High-Priority Infrastructure Project (HPIP) by the US Government’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Committee (FPISC). The approval is the culmination of a process that began with the nomination on 4 October 2019 by Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy of Graphite One’s project for High-Priority Infrastructure Project designation.
At full production, Graphite One’s proposed advanced graphite product manufacturing plant—the second link in its proposed supply chain strategy—is projected in its Preliminary Economic Analysis to convert Graphite Creek’s annual 60,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate into 41,850 tonnes of EV-battery grade Coated Spherical Graphite and 13,500 tonnes of purified graphite powders.
With this FPISC determination, Graphite One can elect to list on the Federal Permitting Dashboard should the Company choose to do so. The Federal Permitting Dashboard ensures that federal permitting agencies coordinate their project review authorities, resulting in a more efficient process, with more transparency for state agencies and the public. This designation does not remove any of the stringent environmental standards or permitting requirements necessary for the Graphite Creek project and enhances Graphite One’s ongoing commitment to local stakeholders for a transparent and thorough permitting process.
The Graphite Creek designation comes as a new US Presidential Administration highlights EVs and the EV infrastructure as central to its green energy policy.
What we expect from the Biden Administration is to simply make one of their policies to make gigafactories across the whole country at scale in order to turbo-charge and protect their biggest automobile companies such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.—Simon Moores of the UK’s Benchmark Minerals Intelligence
Graphite as a critical mineral. The US Government in 2018 placed natural graphite on its Critical Minerals List of materials critical to the national economy and national security of the United States. The United States currently has no domestic natural graphite production and is 100% reliant on imports with China producing 70% of the world’s supply.
The World Bank’s Climate-Smart Mining Initiative includes graphite among its clean-tech, green-tech materials, projecting global graphite demand to rise 494% between 2020 and 2050. According to the USGS, “Graphite’s use in rechargeable batteries, as well as technologies under development (such as large-scale fuel-cell applications), could consume as much graphite as all other uses combined.” As a result, projects like Graphite One’s Graphite Creek will provide essential supply chain infrastructure for the United States’ green tech/clean tech sectors.
The Graphite One Project is proposed as a vertically integrated enterprise to mine, to process and to manufacture high-grade CSG primarily for the lithium-ion electric vehicle battery market. As set forth in the Preliminary Economic Assessment, potential graphite mineralization mined from the 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.
CA$8 million funding. Graphite One also intends to complete a non-brokered private placement offeringto raise gross proceeds of up to C$8,000,000 (US$6.3 million).
The net proceeds will be used for exploration and development of the Graphite Creek Project and for general working capital purposes including Graphite One’s Pre-Feasibility Study, projected for completion by the end of Q2 2021.
Closing is expected to occur around the end of February 2021, subject to receipt of final applicable regulatory approvals including approval of the TSX Venture Exchange. All securities issued in connection with the Offering will be subject to a restricted period that expires four months following the date of issuance.