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Graphite Quick Facts

Elon Musk: Lithium ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite

Graphite, along with diamonds and Coal, are crystalline forms of Carbon

Graphene - Individual layers

Graphite - Combined layers

Graphite is an essential but often unrecognized material for modern life, with broad industrial applications due to its unique properties:

  • Properties of both metals and non-metals (ideal for industrial applications)
  • Highest natural strength and stiffness of any material
  • Lightest weight of all reinforcement materials
  • Very high melting point; low thermal expansion/shrinkage
  • High electrical and thermal conductivity
  • Low frictional resistance and hydrophobic behaviour (excellent lubricant)
  • Non-toxic, chemically inert and high resistance to corrosion

Properties vary depending on the purity and size of the graphite crystals; this directly affects the price of the resource.

Graphite Global Production

Graphite is not a homogenous commodity; it occurs naturally in 3 forms:
Highest Price, Lowest Supply
High Purity: 85%-98% carbon
   Least graphitic of the three
Lower Purity: 60%-90% carbon
Uncommon & highly localized;
<1% of world production;
Marginal applications

Flake size and purity directly affects the price

Natural medium/large flake graphite forecasted between $1,750 and $2,000/t

Flake Graphite:

Widest range of end uses
Increasing demand for high purity flake graphite
No substitute:

  • Synthetic graphite has high purity but is 4x the cost
  • Synthetic graphite ($7,000-20,000/t)*
  • Natural flake ($2,000-3,000/t)*

Flake graphite used in batteries - not amorphous

* Source: Comark Securities

Restricted and Unstable Supply = Opportunity

  • China (+70% of world production) is losing dominance over graphite market due to  export tariffs and environmental regulations that reduce supply and increase prices
  • China also faced with a reduction of large and medium flake production

Flake graphite production outside of China:

Brazil Canada India Madagascar Norway Zimbabwe Germany

Graphite Global Consumption

  • Urbanization of China and India is driving the demand of graphite in traditional applications
  • China to build Strategic Reserve: By 2020, reserve must exceed 80% of China’s domestic capacity to hold a steady “bottom line” of supply
  • New Tax on Chinese polluting operations coming in effect in January 2018
  • Natural Graphite classified as one of 14 critical raw materials by the European Union in 2014

Graphite – How it is being sold

Graphite Mine
Inventory of different sizes for different uses and end users

End Users
Typical one-year supply contracts establishing prices, specifications, volume, timing and delivery

  • Graphite is not an openly traded mineral
  • Prices are negotiated between end users and producers for annual and, sometimes, multi-year contracts
  • Prices for graphite vary according to different parameters such as carbon content (purity), size, impurities and shape
  • Continuous contact with customers is necessary
  • There is a market for 100% of mined graphite material (from large to fine flakes)
  • Market Study is underway to identify all end users in all market segments

Stay in Touch

Contact Us

3030 Le Carrefour blvd., Suite 600
Laval, QC H7T 2P5
+1 (514) 289 3580
1111 Saint-Charles Ouest,
Suite 411
Longueil, Québec, J4K 5G4
T +1-514-289-3580 ext. 104

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