Dr Ian Flint on the evolving global graphene and graphite market

Dr Ian Flint, Senior Editor at InvestorIntel in an interview with InvestorIntel’s Kelly Bird discuss the graphite and graphene market. Ian explains that exploration companies in the graphite sector racing towards production are realizing that they have to do more than produce graphite. In fact they are they are more of a processor and intermediary for applications. For example, lithium-ion battery companies do not buy graphite off the shelf, they must collaborate to insure that their graphite flake is compatible with the battery being manufactured before any sales are made. He then goes on to discuss his advisory roles with CKR Carbon Corporation (TSXV: CKR), a company focused on mine to market commercialization of graphite products, and Giyani Metals Corp. (TSXV: WDG), a junior manganese mining resource company in South Africa.

Kelly Bird: Tell me what is going on in the graphene market today?

Ian Flint: There is a number of applications that are being developed in graphene, for example, into plastics as a composite. Now you can buy graphene hockey sticks for example. It is also being put into a lot paints for corrosion resistance. There is also work being done putting it into things, like, energy storage and things like that. The same problem that has been plaguing the graphene market for many years still exists, which is quality control and a supply of reliable inexpensive graphene. Until those are solved the applications grow in slow increment.

Kelly Bird: What about the graphite market?

Ian Flint: The junior companies are slowly learning that to be into the graphite is you are not a miner. You are a processor and intermediary to applications as opposed to a mine. The classic model in which geologists get together and make a company and sell it to a senior in graphite just does not work. What you need in graphite is to identify the applications you are going to sell into then find the graphite source for that. You have to be prepared to start an operating company. You have to have the team together to do that. I think that the junior mining space is recognizing that fact. There has been a number of strides forward in the industry so I think it is a positive outlook.

Kelly Bird: Which brings me to my next question, what is the difference, for those of us who do not know, between synthetic graphite and real graphite… to access the complete interview, click here




NextSource feasibility study results provide ‘impressive’ reduction in capital costs

Brent Nykoliation, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at NextSource Materials Inc. (TSX: NEXT | OTCQB: NSRC) (“NextSource”) in an interview with InvestorIntel CEO Tracy Weslosky discuss NextSource’s recent feasibility study results for their graphite Molo Project, located in Madagascar. Brent states NextSource has reduced their capital costs down to “$18.4 million dollars to build an entire graphite mine putting out 17,000 tons.” NextSource’s original feasibility was close to $200 million for the capex. Brent also states that NextSource’s Molo Project is able to produce graphite with “98% purity just with standard floatation” and their graphite deposit is “almost 50% of large and jumbo flake.”

Tracy Weslosky: I love your most recent news release. This is your second feasibility study results. Can you give us an update?

Brent Nykoliation: We brought out a feasibility updated and we reduced our capital costs down to $18.4 million dollars to build an entire graphite mine putting out 17,000 tons. Our original feasibility was close to $200 million dollars for the capex.

Tracy Weslosky: For those of you out there that do not know the NextSource Materials story, this is one you should know because of your graphite. Can you explain why you have such a competitive graphite flake?

Brent Nykoliation: Our project is called the Molo Project. It’s in Madagascar. Madagascar has been renowned for having one of the highest quality flakes in the world for decades. Madagascar has been shipping graphite for over 100 years. We happen to have a very high propensity of large flake and a very high purity flake.

Tracy Weslosky: There’s fake graphite and there’s real graphite. We would argue this is the real graphite. Why?

Brent Nykoliation: All graphite is different. It has to depend on the actual project. Where our project actually sits we just were blessed with a very, very high purity graphite. It’s not the very grade in the ground. It’s actually the resulting product when you actually do the floatation. We can get up to 98% purity just with standard floatation and we have a very large percentage of large flake. Almost 50% of our deposit is large and jumbo flake….to access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: NextSource Materials Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel.




Analyst describes Northern Graphite as a near-producing, lean, capital efficient junior

Northern Graphite Corp. (TSXV: NGC | OTCQX: NGPHF) (“Northern Graphite”) is set to start mine construction this year, with the view of commencing commercial production as early as 2018. The deposit -an open pit operation, promises a cheap operating rate, capable of producing graphite flake concentrates at $640/tonne, which is less than half of the current market rate of around $1,700/tonne.

Northern Graphite’s Bissett Creek’s flake deposit is impressive. It is located in Eastern Ontario, has a life of mine of 28 years and is targeting an initial production of 20,800 tpa. From a financial perspective, Northern Graphite has zero debt and US$1.2 million in capital, which, for a mining junior not yet in production, is no small feat. Most importantly, the mine is scaleable and the expansion is a fairly cheap undertaking. This allows Northern Graphite to take full advantage of market conditions and increase production in line with market demand.

If one considers investing in graphite, flake graphite is where you want to be. Not only are the fortunes of flake graphite dependent on a growing battery market, as opposed to steel, but it is also driven by scarcity. The fact that there’s currently no flake graphite production in North America, makes Northern Graphite even more compelling. And in terms of pricing, flake graphite is directly affected by the level of purity. From this vantage, the fact that Northern Graphite has just announced an upgrade in the purity of its concentrate to 97.9% is extremely valuable.

graphite market

The majority of the available graphite is synthetic, derived from pet. coke and coal tar. From an end-use perspective, batteries comprise only 15% of demand, but is the largest growth market.

 

It is estimated that every additional GWh of battery production requires between 462-1,848 tonnes of Graphite Flake feedstock. Given the expected growth in battery-propelled technologies, Flake Graphite has a bright future

What is more, Northern Graphite has developed a proprietary process in creating concentrate in a more environmentally responsible manner with an excellent recovery rate, both on SPG and flake processing, creating the first viable and cost effective process to the traditional way of producing concentrate.

The company’s management is highly experienced, lending credibility to the operation. Not only are they experienced in the mining arena and running successful businesses, but they also have experiences within the lithium, copper and gold mining spaces. They have proven that they run a tight ship and keep costs firmly under control, imbuing much confidence from an investor point of view.

We have seen that in the company’s capital raising efforts, (the latest was in March, being the private placement that raised US$2.5 million). The placement was oversubscribed, which Gregory Bowes, CEO of Northern Graphite, viewed as a reflection of the backing the company enjoys from its investors and a bullish outlook for the graphite market.

“The financing provides the means to continue moving forward with preparations for full project financing, construction and production,” Bowes said about the oversubscribed placement.

To summarize, we like Northern Graphite as a near-producing, lean, capital efficient junior. Its capital expenses are low. It is cash positive with no debt. And it owns a world class flake deposit that is scaleable and is expected to grow investors’ money in the years to come. As long as the graphite market fundamentals remain positive for Northern Graphite, we see the company soaring to new highs.