Graphite miners lobby US govt to impose levy on China-sourced EV material – by Divya Rajagopal (Reuters – April 30, 2024)

https://www.reuters.com/

TORONTO, April 30 (Reuters) – North American graphite miners are lobbying the US government to impose a 25% tariff on three graphite products sourced from China in order to counter Beijing’s monopoly on a key material used in automobile batteries.

If successful, the move will pit the miners against their main customers- the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and add to tensions with China, which controls the majority of the critical metals used in the world’s electric vehicles and other motors. The U.S. government is set to decide in May whether to bring graphite into the list of minerals that attract the higher Section 301 tariff.

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GM, Panasonic strike deals to buy EV battery materials from Quebec’s Nouveau Monde – by Nicolas Van Praet (Globe and Mail – February 16, 2024)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

U.S. automaker General Motors Co. and Japan’s Panasonic Holdings Corp. will buy electric-vehicle battery materials from Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. and invest in the company, buoying the Quebec miner’s bid to become a go-to critical mineral supplier for North America.

GM and Panasonic have each committed to purchasing 18,000 metric tonnes of graphite for battery anodes annually, beginning when Nouveau Monde’s planned mining and refining facilities enter production, the company said in news releases Thursday. The offtake agreements will run for six to seven years, and they represent about 85 per cent of Nouveau Monde’s planned commercial production, which it is aiming to begin in 2027.

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Canadian graphite miner NMG scores deals with GM, Panasonic – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – February 15, 2024)

https://www.mining.com/

Nouveau Monde Graphite (TSX-V: NOU) (NYSE: NMG) inked on Thursday multi-year offtake agreements with General Motors (NYSE: GM) and Panasonic Holdings, with both companies also vowing to invest in the Canadian miner to help it produce high-quality graphite in North America.

GM and Panasonic have each committed to purchase 18,000 tonnes of natural graphite active anode material annually over a period of six to seven years, the Montreal-based miner said. They are also making equity investments of $25 million each in the company. The two firms and potential co-investors could join future rounds of financing worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Nouveau Monde Graphite (NGM) said in a statement.

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Crumbling graphite price puts Hearst-area mine development on hold – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – November 21, 2023)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Zentek delays stock market listing, exploring partnerships while waiting for markets to improve

Last spring’s “soaring demand” for graphite has apparently crash-landed to earth. The optimism expressed last May by Zentek, a Guelph-based graphene technology, to develop its graphite deposit near Hearst has dramatically waned as the market for graphite and battery metals “has deteriorated significantly.”

In a news release, Zentek management said its plans to bring its highly pure Albany graphite deposit, near Constance Lake First Nation, into future production, are on hold. In May, Zentek transferred its Albany deposit to a new subsidiary, Albany Graphite Corp., with big plans to raise project financing for a potential mine through a non-brokered private placement and to get the company listed on a Canadian stock exchange.

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China’s controls on graphite exports “a loud wakeup call” for the US, says Graphex CEO – by Amanda Stutt (Mining.com – November 16, 2023)

https://www.mining.com/

China announced last month it will require export permits for some graphite products in another bid to control critical mineral supply in response to challenges over its global manufacturing dominance.

China is the world’s top graphite producer and exporter. It also refines more than 90% of the world’s graphite into the material that is used in virtually all EV battery anodes. Benchmark Mineral Intelligence sees demand for graphite over the next decade growing at an annual compound rate of 10.5% but supply will lag, it says, expanding at only 5.7% per year.

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Battery Makers Hunt for Graphite Before China Controls Kick In – by Annie Lee and Heejin Kim (Bloomberg News – October 25, 2023)

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/

(Bloomberg) — South Korean companies are rushing to buy more graphite from China before export controls on electric vehicle battery ingredient take effect in December.

LG Energy Solution Ltd. said on an earnings call on Wednesday that it will try and buy more graphite as soon as possible prior to the measures kicking in. Posco Future M Co., a battery-electrode maker, is also making efforts to maintain “the proper levels of stockpiles” before the Dec. 1 deadline, it said in an emailed response to questions.

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China Tightens Its Chokehold on Graphite Needed for EV Batteries – by Wenxin Fan and Sha Hua (Wall Street Journal – October 20, 2023)

https://www.wsj.com/

Beijing bolsters export restrictions on strategic mineral days after U.S. squeezed Chinese access to advanced semiconductors

HONG KONG—China is strengthening restrictions on exports of graphite, a key mineral needed for the production of electric-vehicle batteries and fuel cells, the latest move in an intensifying global tussle over the building blocks of critical technologies.

Citing national-security concerns, China’s Commerce Ministry said Friday that exports of several categories of natural and synthetic graphite materials would require permits under a system used to control trade in items with dual civilian and military uses starting Dec. 1.

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U.S. Department of Defense funds Canadian graphite miner to build project in Alaska – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – July 18, 2023)

https://financialpost.com/

Miner is first to receive such a grant

The United States Department of Defense has awarded a subsidiary of Vancouver-based junior miner Graphite One Inc. a grant of $37.5 million to develop a mining project in Alaska, with the aim of lessening America’s dependence on China for metals needed to transition away from fossil fuels.

While a number of Canadian miners have applied to the Department of Defense (DOD) for funding, Graphite One, through its subsidiary in the U.S., is the first to receive such a grant, the company’s chief executive Anthony Huston said. It’s also the first graphite miner to receive a fund from the department, he added.

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Ottawa Valley graphite developer spies Quebec for processing plant – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – July 17, 2023)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Northern Graphite signs land deal for Baie Comeau port property

An Ottawa-based graphite company, with a deposit between North Bay and Ottawa, is purchasing land on the St. Lawrence River to build a battery anode manufacturing plant. Northern Graphite, which holds with Bissett Creek deposit located off Highway 17, signed a letter of intent with the city of Baie Comeau, Que. to purchase a 300-acre brownfield property for US$1.2 million.

Subject to securing financing and government approvals, the company wants to build a hub processing capable of processing 200,000 tonnes a year for its three graphite properties in Ontario, Quebec and Namibia. The intent is to supply anode material to lithium-ion battery manufacturing plants throughout North America.

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Appian seeks location for Brazil graphite processing, ‘supercycle’ continues: CEO – by Diana Kinch (SP Global – June 14, 2023)

https://www.spglobal.com/

UK-based private equity company Appian Capital Advisory is seeking a downstream location to process material produced at the graphite project it is developing in Brazil, as demand for the commodity grows apace, CEO Michael Scherb said in an interview.

Graphcoa, with various graphite deposits in Brazil, is moving into pilot production this year and should be in full production in two years, producing for the electric-vehicle batteries industry, Scherb said this week.

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Canada is sitting on a critical minerals mother lode. But is it ready for the new gold rush? – by Christian Paas-Lang (CBC News Politics – April 8,2023)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/

Proponents say Canada must do more to turn aspiration into action

Drive two hours north of Ottawa, put on a hard hat and bright orange vest, descend into a pit — and you find yourself on the frontline in the fight to be part of the new, green economy.

A mining project might not be what comes to mind when you think of the transition to a lower emissions economy. But embedded in electric vehicles, solar panels and hydrogen fuel storage are metals and minerals that come from mines like the one in Lac-des-Îles, Que.

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Guelph health tech company looks to advance a Hearst-area graphite mine – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 15, 2023)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Zentek and B.C. numbered company consider partnership to develop the Albany graphite deposit

A southern Ontario healthcare solutions company is looking to spin off its high-grade graphite deposit, west of Hearst, into a separate mine development entity to advance it toward commercial production.

Guelph-based Zentek said in a Feb. 15 news release that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent with a numbered company in British Columbia to “transfer” its Albany deposit into the hands of a publicly-listed company to be registered on a Canadian stock exchange.

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Shift to Mined vs. Man-Made Graphite Raises Shortage Risk for EVs – by Scott Patterson and Amrith Ramkumar (Wall Street Journal – January 25, 2023)

https://www.wsj.com/

Natural graphite is greener than synthetic, leading auto makers to turn to mines for the mineral

Mining companies are ramping up supplies of critical minerals for rechargeable batteries such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. Graphite, a key battery component, has largely been overlooked.

That is about to change. Some of the world’s biggest auto and battery makers and the U.S. government are racing to secure graphite supplies amid looming signs of shortages of the mineral suitable for batteries. So far graphite prices haven’t reflected the tight supply.

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Africa’s Growing Graphite Mining Potential – by Gareth Taylor (SP Global.com – December 26, 2022)

https://www.spglobal.com/

Electric Vehicle (EV) sales have seen considerable growth in recent years, reaching 9.4% of global passenger vehicle penetration in 2021, and expected to triple by 2026. S&P Global Commodities Insights estimate EV sales to grow by a compounded growth rate of over 28% over this period.

A consequence of this, battery materials have quickly become critical to the automotive supply chain with major companies establishing partnerships with both battery cell manufacturers and miners of the raw material.

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Graphite poised to do a lithium – by Frik Els (Mining.com – November 23, 2022)

https://www.mining.com/

Pressure on carmakers in the EV battery supply chain is only building.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) faced with an 8-fold increase in lithium prices, convulsions on the nickel market and ever-present worries about cobalt supply from the Congo, are being forced to look downstream to secure supply for their ambitious expansion plans.

Andy Miller, chief operating officer of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, told an annual industry gathering in Los Angeles last week that soaring lithium prices and LME nickel market turmoil are signs of the huge momentum that is building in the battery supply chain.

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