June 1, 2021
Graphite One Inc. plans to execute a 2021 drilling program at its Graphite Creek property located near Nome, Alaska.
The drill program follows the company’s financing of $10-million to advance Graphite One’s preliminary feasibility study, scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2021. Approximately 3,000 metres of HQ core drilling is planned for the program to in-fill and expand the measured and indicated resources of graphitic carbon for the feasibility study.
Additional geotechnical drilling is planned for open pit mine design and to advance the understanding of ground conditions in proposed infrastructure sites. In addition to the proposed 2021 drilling program, site visits and fieldwork by the engineering team will be completed, additional environmental baseline data will be collected and community outreach activities will continue during the 2021 field season. The drilling program and other fieldwork are expected to begin in July. Appropriate COVID-19 management protocols will be implemented by all field personnel to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved as well as the surrounding communities.
“We are encouraged to be on track to complete our PFS this year and we are excited about the planned field programs that will inform the more detailed FS once the PFS is completed. The 2021 drilling program will provide the additional information required to continue advancing the design and engineering for the proposed mine, the flotation process facility, the secondary treatment plant for producing coated spherical graphite and other graphite products, and all associated infrastructure,” said Stan Foo, a veteran Alaska mining executive and the chief operating officer of Graphite One (Alaska) Inc. “These investigations will allow Graphite One to firm up our understanding of the project as we unlock the full value of this unique large flake graphite deposit.”
Anthony Huston, president and chief executive officer of Graphite One, states: “With the growing demand for graphite in electric vehicle batteries and other energy storage applications — and recent actions by the Biden administration to secure U.S. supply chains for critical minerals — we see Graphite One’s aim to produce a U.S.-based supply chain solution becoming increasingly significant as a new potential source of advanced graphite products for decades to come. While the 2017 preliminary economic analysis indicated excellent economics, we are very excited about the potential for the PFS to show a clear path for further development.”
Graphite One is also pleased to announce its employment of Zhengli (Andrew) Tan as director, graphite products manufacturing, effective April 1, 2021. Mr. Tan is focused on the company’s plan to manufacture high-grade coated spherical graphite, primarily for the lithium-ion electric vehicle battery market and energy storage systems, as well as other value-added products.
Since 2013, Mr. Tan has been an independent consultant to the carbon and graphite materials industry advising companies on graphite materials manufacturing. From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Tan was general manager of an expanded graphite foil manufacturing facility in China for SGL Group. Prior to that, he had industry positions in the United States and Canada. Mr. Tan has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of New Brunswick and a bachelor’s degree in materials science from China’s Hunan University.
The United States remains 100 per cent reliant on foreign supply of natural graphite, despite the U.S. government listing the resource as one of the 35 critical minerals and metals vital to U.S. security and economic prosperity. Graphite One’s deposit in western Alaska remains the largest known source of natural graphite in the United States. According to the World Bank, global graphite demand for clean energy applications alone — primarily electric vehicle batteries and energy storage systems — is expected to rise by 494 per cent between now and 2050.