Graphite Miners News For The Month Of January 2022 | Seeking Alpha

2022-05-29 00:14:45 By : Ms. Ella Zhang

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Welcome to the January edition of the graphite miners news. January saw graphite prices little changed and plenty of news from the graphite miners, especially many juniors that are making rapid progress towards either graphite or active anode materials ("AAMs") production.

During the past 30 days the China graphite flake-194 EXW spot price was not updated (up 3.8% the past 60 days). Note that 94-97% is considered best suited for use in batteries; it is then upgraded to 99.9% purity to make "spherical" graphite used in Li-ion batteries. The spherical graphite 99.95% min EXW China price was not updated (up 2.40% the past 60 days).

Fastmarkets graphite prices as of January 20, 2022

In an April 25, 2021 report from Leading Edge Materials they stated:

A recent price assessment produced by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence for the Company shows average pricing in 2020 for uncoated natural spherical graphite at around US$3,000 per tonne and for coated natural spherical graphite between US$7,000 per tonne (domestic China and non-EU) and US$12,000 per tonne (high-end applications), with an average price of around US9,500 per tonne for material used in cells for Western OEMs...

A reminder of a 2016 Elon Musk quote:

Our cells should be called Nickel-Graphite, because primarily the cathode is nickel and the anode side is graphite with silicon oxide.

UBS's EV metals demand forecast (from Nov. 2020)

UBS EV metals demand growth multiple increase from 2020 to 2030

2021 IEA forecast growth in demand for selected minerals from clean energy technologies by scenario, 2040 relative to 2020 - Increases Of Lithium 13x to 42x, Graphite 8x to 25x, Cobalt 6x to 21x, Nickel 7x to 19x, Manganese 3x to 8x, Rare Earths 3x to 7x, And Copper 2x to 3x

IEA 2021 report - EV metals forecast increase (multiple times) 2020 to 2040

On December 30 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence reported: "Electric vehicles drive demand for graphite - 2021 in review."

Plan for decades of high commodity prices, BlackRock Says. Commodities prices may stay high for decades as mining companies struggle to keep up with demand from the energy transition, according to BlackRock Inc.'s Evy Hambro... the switch toward a greener world is creating fresh demand for metals such as copper, lithium and nickel.

On January 17 Investing News reported:

Graphite outlook 2022: Demand from battery segment to remain high... In 2022, Wood Mackenzie is expecting to see very strong growth in batteries, while most traditional steel-based applications will see much slower growth because of slowdown in the Chinese market... Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data shows demand for natural graphite from the battery segment amounted to 400,000 tonnes in 2021, with that number expected to scale up to 3 million tonnes by 2030. Demand for synthetic graphite came to about 300,000 tonnes in 2021, and is expected to increase to 1.5 million tonnes by 2030... By volume, graphite is one of the most important elements in any EV battery ― there are between 50 and 100 kilograms of graphite, whether synthetic or natural, present within each vehicle... "We can really see the sector growing progressively to around 15 times the demand we see today by 2030"... "The primary limitation here is that the mesh size inputs for the battery supply chain must be fine to medium flake," Miller said, adding that consistency and high purity, somewhere around 94 to 95 percent carbon, are also key... Wood Mackenzie believes prices will continue to rise early on in the year... "Prices could then ease somewhat in the middle of the year before rising again with winter shutdowns... In the longer term, prices are expected to continue rising with increasing demand and a tightening market, until new capacity can be brought online."

Note: Bold emphasis done by me.

I have not covered the following graphite producers as they are not typically accessible to most Western investors. They include - Aoyu Graphite Group, BTR New Energy Materials, Qingdao Black Dragon, National de Grafite, Shanshan Technology, and LuiMao Graphite.

Note: Imerys Graphite and Carbon (OTC:IMYSF) and AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV [NA:AMG] [GR:ADG] (OTCPK:AMVMF) are also "diversified producers", producing graphite. SGL Carbon (ETR:SGL) is a synthetic graphite producer and Novonix [ASX:NVX] (OTCQX:NVNXF) is commercializing their synthetic graphite product.

Syrah Resources Limited [ASX:SYR][GR:3S7]( OTCPK:SYAAF)(OTC:SRHYY)

Syrah Resources Limited owns the Balama graphite mine in Mozambique. Syrah is also working to become a vertically integrated producer of natural graphite Active Anode Material ("AAM") at their Vidalia facility, Louisiana, USA.

On December 29, Syrah Resources announced:

Additional Information regarding Binding Active Anode Material Offtake Agreement with Tesla. The offtake obligation is conditional on the parties agreeing the final specifications of AAM by no later than 31 December 2022 and achieving final qualification of AAM to Tesla's satisfaction by no later than 31 May 2025. The Agreement may also be terminated if production has not started by 31 May 2024. Subject to satisfaction of the above conditions, Tesla will offtake 8kt per annum of the proposed initial expansion of AAM production capacity at Vidalia, being the majority of such initial planned production capacity of 10kt per annum.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Ceylon Graphite [TSXV:CYL] [GR:CCY] (OTC:CYLYF)

Ceylon Graphite has 'Vein graphite' production out of one mine in Sri Lanka with 121 square kilometers of tenements.

No significant news for the month.

Mineral Commodities Ltd. ("MRC") [ASX:MRC]

Skaland Graphite is 90% owned by MRC. Skaland is the highest grade flake graphite operation in the world and largest producing mine in Europe; with immediate European graphite production of up to 10,000 tonnes per annum with regulatory approval to increase to 16,000. MRC plans to demerge its Norwegian graphite assets into a newly incorporated Norway company branded as Ascent Graphite.

No significant news for the month.

Note: Buying Battery Metals Mozambique graphite assets.

On January 24, Tirupati announced: "Progress update for Madagascar expansion Projects." Highlights include:

Northern Graphite [TSXV:NGC][GR:ONG] (OTCQX:NGPHF) (potential to be a North American graphite producer very soon)

Northern Grpahite has agreed to purchase from Imerys the Lac des Iles producing graphite mine in Quebec and the Okanjande graphite deposit/Okorusu processing plant in Namibia. They also own the Bissett Creek graphite project located 100km east of North Bay, Ontario, Canada and close to major roads and infrastructure. The Company has completed an NI 43-101 Bankable final Feasibility Study and received its major environmental permit.

On January 17, Northern Graphite announced:

Northern Graphite announces terms of private placement. Northern Graphite Corporation is pleased to provide the terms of the private placement (the "Private Placement") being conducted in connection with its previously announced acquisition of the producing Lac des Iles graphite mine in Quebec and the Okanjande graphite deposit/Okorusu processing plant in Namibia from subsidiaries of Imerys Group ("Imerys") for approximately US$40 million (the "Transaction"). Under the Private Placement, Northern, through a syndicate of agents led by Sprott Capital Partners LP (the "Lead Agent") and including Cormark Securities Inc., Canaccord Genuity Corp. and Tamesis Partners LLP (collectively with the Lead Agent, the "Agents"), will sell, on a commercially reasonable efforts private placement basis, up to 26,750,000 subscription receipts of the Company (the "Subscription Receipts") at a price of C$0.75 per Subscription Receipt to raise aggregate gross proceeds of approximately C$20 million.

On January 27 Northern Graphite announced: "Northern Graphite announces trading to Resume January 27, 2022."

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

NextSource Materials Inc. [TSX:NEXT] [GR:1JW] (OTCQB:NSRCF)

NextSource Materials Inc. is a mine development company based in Toronto, Canada, that's developing its 100%-owned, Feasibility-Stage Molo Graphite Project in Madagascar. The Company also has the Green Giant Vanadium Project on the same property. The Molo mine is fully-funded and scheduled to commission in March, 2022.

On January 11, NextSource Materials Inc. announced:

NextSource Materials announces factory acceptance testing of the Molo Graphite Mine Processing Plant is complete and preparations for transport to mine site have initiated. The Processing Plant was designed and built using an all-modular approach and is capable of processing 240,000 tpa of ore and producing approximately 17,000 tpa of high-quality SuperFlake® graphite concentrate...

Investors can view the latest company presentation here. You can watch the company's Senior Vice President Brent Nykoliation video interview here.

Greenwing Resources Limited [ASX:GW1] (OTCPK:BSSMF) (formerly Bass Metals [ASX:BSM]

On December 22, Greenwing Resources Limited announced:

Advanced materials update: High quality graphene produced. The programme of research and development of speciality carbon products has been achieved its first key milestone - the environmentally friendly production of high-quality graphene from our Graphmada graphite concentrates.

You can view the latest company presentation here.

Walkabout Resources Ltd [ASX:WKT]

On January 4, Walkabout Resources announced: "Scotland update: Walkabout moves to 100% of JDH exploration in Scotland." Historically known for lead, zinc, and silver resources.

Gratomic Inc. [TSXV:GRAT] [GR:CB82 ] (OTCQX:CBULF)

Gratomic's Aukam Graphite Project is located in Namibia, Africa. The Project is in process of plant commissioning for full operational capabilities and an open pit operation in Q4 of 2021 to produce high grade vein graphite. Gratomic is also collaborating with Forge Nano to to develop a second facility for graphite micronization and spheronization.

On December 22, Gratomic Inc. announced:

Gratomic announces update on Capim Grosso graphite project drilling program in Brazil. Gratomic Inc. announces the first preliminary findings of its 5,000-meter diamond drill program on the Capim Grosso graphite project located within the Bahia State of Brazil... Both completed drill holes intercepted graphite varying in width from 0.1 m to 11.15 m.

On January 11, Gratomic Inc. announced:

Gratomic announces update on the commissioning of its Aukam Graphite Processing Plant in Namibia... announces the ongoing commissioning of several key pieces of equipment in preparation for the final commissioning stage of the grinding, flotation, and drying circuits... Gratomic aims to achieve full operational capabilities in 2022 on its Aukam Graphite Project.

On January 21, Gratomic Inc. announced:

Gratomic announces extension of closing of $27 million non-brokered private placement. The offering consists of 19,300,000 working capital units ("WC Units") priced at $1.40 per WC Unit for gross proceeds of $27,020,000 (the "Offering"). The final closing of the Offering will be extended until February 8, 2022.

Nouveau Monde Graphite [TSXV:NOU] (OTCQX:NMGRF) (NYSE:NMG)

Nouveau Monde Graphite own the Matawinie graphite project, located in the municipality of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, approximately 150 km north of Montreal, Canada.

On January 19, Nouveau Monde Graphite announced: "Nouveau Monde receives important A2 sustainability rating from Moody's for its Green "Mine-to-Battery-Materials" Business and provides a general business update." Highlights include:

On January 21, Nouveau Monde Graphite announced: "

Nouveau Monde announces filing of a Prospectus Supplement for At-The-Market Offering. Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. is pleased to announce that it has filed a prospectus supplement establishing a new at-the-market equity offering (the "ATM Offering"). Canaccord Genuity is acting as lead agent for the ATM Offering and B. Riley and Roth Capital Partners are acting as co-agents (collectively, the "Agents"). The ATM Offering will allow the Company to offer for sale and issue up to US$75 million (or the equivalent in Canadian dollars) of common shares of the Company (the "Common Shares")...

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Westwater Resources Inc. is developing an advanced battery graphite business in Alabama. The Coosa Graphite Plant (2023 production start) plans to source natural graphite initially from non-China suppliers and then from the USA from 2028.

On January 12, Westwater Resources Inc. announced:

Westwater Resources provides year-end 2021 review and update on Coosa Graphite Processing Plant. "Great work by the Westwater team has resulted in significant progress in the development of the Company and the Coosa Graphite Project (the "Project")," said Chris Jones, President and CEO. "Our business plan is progressing on track in a market that enjoys terrific growth." ...Phase I of the Facility is expected to produce 3,700 metric tonnes [MT] of Coated Spherical Purified Graphite ("CSPG") product per year, and 3,800 mt of purified fines product per year for 35 years. Phase I production is anticipated to commence in 2023.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Triton Minerals [ASX:TON][GR:1TG]

Triton Minerals Ltd. engages in the acquisition, exploration and development of areas that are highly prospective for gold, graphite and other minerals. The company was founded on March 28, 2006 and is headquartered in West Perth, Australia. Triton has two large graphite projects in Mozambique, not far from Syrah Resources Balama project.

No news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here, an excellent video here, and my article on Trend Investing here.

Magnis Energy Technologies Ltd [ASX:MNS] (OTCPK:MNSEF)

Magnis is an Australian based company that has rapidly moved into battery technology and is planning to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of lithium-ion battery cells. Magnis has a world class graphite deposit in Tanzania known as the Nachu Graphite Project.

On December 22, Magnis Energy Technologies announced: "New York Lithium-ion Battery Plant update." Highlights include:

On December 29, Magnis Energy Technologies announced: "Semi-automated production begins at New York Lithium-ion Battery Plant."

On December 30, Magnis Energy Technologies announced: "Nachu Graphite Project update." Highlights include:

On December 31, Magnis Energy Technologies announced: "Exciting extra fast charging battery results using commercial cells." Highlights include:

Eagle Graphite [TSXV:EGA] (OTCPK:APMFF)

The Black Crystal Project is located in the Slocan Valley area of British Columbia, Canada, 35km West of the city of Nelson, and 70km North of the border to the USA. The quarry and plant areas are the project's two main centers of activity.

No news for the month.

Mason Graphite [TSXV:LLG] [GR:M01] ( OTCQX:MGPHF)

Mason Graphite is a Canadian graphite mining and processing company focused on the development of the Lac Guéret project located in northeastern Quebec, where the graphite grade is believed by management to be among the highest in the world. Mason Graphite also owns 66.67% of Black Swan Graphene.

No news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.


Talga Group is a technology minerals company enabling stronger, lighter and more functional materials for the multi-billion dollar global coatings, battery, construction and carbon composites markets using graphene and graphite. Talga 100% owned graphite deposits are in Sweden, proprietary process test facility is in Germany.

No news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

SRG Mining Inc. [TSXV:SRG] [GR:18Y] [Formerly SRG Graphite Inc.]

SRG is focused on developing the Lola graphite deposit, which is located in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. The Lola Graphite occurrence has a prospective surface outline of 3.22 km2 of continuous graphitic gneiss, one of the largest graphitic surface areas in the world. SRG owns 100% of the Lola Graphite Project.

On January 21, SRG Mining Inc. announced:

Update on recent activities at The Lola Graphite Project located in the Republic Guinea. The Company has recently announced the closing of a CAD$4,800,000 private placement with namely two European businesspersons, Messrs. Eric Swenden and Christian Dumolin, through their related entities. With the financing in place, and in order to further the development of the Project, the Company is pleased to announce that it has established a field work program to commence preliminary civil work on the Project site starting in the coming weeks. The Company also intends to start detailed engineering work in the coming weeks in a view to optimize and advance the Project. To complement its mining permit on the Project, the Company will also be seeking to advance and finalize a mining convention with the state which it hopes to conclude in the first half of financial year 2022...

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Leading Edge Materials [TSXV:LEM] (OTCQB:LEMIF)

Leading Edge Materials Corp. is a Canadian company focused on becoming a sustainable supplier of a range of critical materials. Leading Edge Materials' flagship asset is the Woxna Graphite Project and processing plant in central Sweden. The company also owns the Norra Karr REE project, and the 51% of the Bihor Sud Nickel-Cobalt exploration stage project in Romania.

No news for the month.

Investors can view the latest company presentation here.

Renascor Resources [ASX:RNU](OTC:RSNUF)

Renascor Resources Ltd. is an Australian exploration company, which focuses on the discovery and development of economically viable deposits containing uranium, gold, copper, and associated minerals. Its projects include graphite, copper, precious metals, and uranium.

On January 10, Renascor Resources announced:

Commercial-scale milling trials deliver increased yields... excess of 65% (versus the 50% yield adopted in Renascor's Battery Anode Material Study).

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

EcoGraf Limited [ASX:EGR] [FSE:FMK] (ECGFF)

On January 19, EcoGraf Limited announced:

Australian lithium-ion BAM Facility update... at its new EcoGraf™ Battery Anode Material [BAM] Facility in Western Australia... Commenced procurement process for key overseas long lead equipment... The Company remains focused on the stage 1 development with engineering continuing to optimise and incorporate new product lines for the expanded 20,000tpa facility... The Company expects to leverage off the regulatory permitting documents once completed to commence the site evaluation of its second facility location in Europe.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Zentek Ltd. [TSXV:ZEN] (OTCPK:ZENYF) (formerly ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd.)

On January 4, Zentek Ltd. announced:

Zentek announces closing of C$23 million Bought Deal Public Offering and C$10 million Non-Brokered Private Placement, for aggregate proceeds of C$33 million...

Black Rock Mining [ASX:BKT]

On December 23, Black Rock Mining announced: "Black Rock signs Term Sheet with POSCO for offtake and US$10M prepayment." Highlights include:

South Star Battery Metals [TSXV:STS] (OTCQB:STSBF)

South Star Battery Metals owns the Santa Cruz Graphite Project in Brazil with a Phase 1 commercial production target for Q4 2022. Plus the right to earn-in to up to 75% for the Graphite Project in Coosa County, Alabama.

No significant news for the month.

Sovereign Metals [ASX:SVM] [GR:SVM]

Sovereign Metals Ltd. is an exploration company, which engages in the explorations of graphite, copper, and gold resources. It operates through the Queensland, Australia, and Malawi geographical segments. Sovereign Metals has the world's biggest graphite saprolith resource of 65m tonnes at 7.1% TGC at their Maligunde project in Malawi.

No significant news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Armadale Capital [AIM:ACP], BlackEarth Minerals [ASX:BEM], Black Rock Mining [ASX:BKT], DNI Metals [CSE:DNI] (OTCPK:DMNKF), Eagle Graphite [TSXV:EGA] [GR:NJGP] (OTC:APMFF), Electric Royalties [TSXV:ELEC], Focus Graphite [TSXV:FMS][GR:FKC] (OTCQB:FCSMF), Green Battery Minerals [TSXV:GEM] (CZSVF), Graphite One Resources Inc. [TSXV:GPH] [GR:2JC] (OTCQX:GPHOF), Australian Goldfields Limited [CSE:GRE] [GR:GOA] (OTCPK:GRXXF), Lomiko Metals Inc. [TSXV:LMR] (OTCQB:LMRMF), New Energy Metals Corp. [ASX:NXE], Volt Resources [ASX:VRC] [GR:R8L].

January saw graphite prices little changed.

Highlights for the month were:

Greenwing Resources Limited announces high-quality graphene produced.

Magnis Energy Technologies consortium New York Lithium-ion Battery Plant 47% complete. Nachu Graphite Project progressing with offtake to Traxys signed.

EcoGraf has commenced the procurement process for key overseas long lead equipment for its new EcoGraf™ Battery Anode Material [BAM] Facility in Western Australia.

Black Rock Mining signs Term Sheet with POSCO for offtake and US$10M prepayment.

As usual, all comments are welcome.

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This article was written by

Disclosure: I/we have a beneficial long position in the shares of SYRAH RESOURCES [ASX:SYR], TRITON MINERALS [ASX:TON], AMG ADVANCED METALLURGICAL GROUP NV [AMS:AMG], MAGNIS ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES [ASX:MNS], ZENTEK LTD [TSXV:ZEN], LEADING EDGE MATERIALS [TSXV:LEM] either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.