February 25, 2021
VANCOUVER, BC – February 25, 2021 – Graphite One Inc. (OTCQB:GPHOF) (TSXV:GPH) (“Graphite One” or the “Company”) offers the following comment on a new Executive Order (EO) issued by U.S. President Joseph R. Biden on February 24, 2021, aimed at strengthening critical U.S. supply chains. The EO identifies three technology sectors as critical supply chains: advanced semiconductors, “high-capacity batteries, including Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries”, and pharmaceuticals. The EO also identifies “critical minerals and other… strategic materials” as a fourth supply chain, essential to technology manufacturing and the Defense Industrial Base. In addition to being a U.S. Government-listed Critical Mineral, graphite is an essential material for both the renewable and EV Battery sectors, and for advanced semiconductor manufacturing.
In Executive Order 13953 (September 30, 2020), referenced in the new Biden Administration EO, graphite was one of four minerals and metals singled out as essential to the U.S.’s “national security, foreign policy and economy.”
“Graphite One welcomes the recognition of renewable batteries, and EV batteries in particular as a critical supply chain,” said Anthony Huston, Chief Executive Officer of Graphite One. “The fact that graphite is essential to three ‘critical supply chains named in the Executive Order underscores the importance of Graphite One’s supply chain approach.”
EV & Energy Storage: Driving Graphite Demand
The new EO comes as the Biden Administration highlights EVs and the Energy Storage System infrastructure as central to its low-carbon climate objectives and green energy policy. According to renewable energy analyst, Simon Moores, from UK’s Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, “What we expect from the Biden Administration is to simply make one of their policies to make gigafactories across the whole country at scale in order to turbo-charge and protect their biggest automobile companies such as Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM)”. As Shane Lasley of North of 60 Mining News reports in regard to the EV and renewable energy sectors, “Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is not the only automaker vying for graphite and other battery metals. With every major carmaker adding electrified models to their lineup, the number of EVs being built each year is expected to expand from about 2 million this year to more than 25 million by 2030 and 55 million by 2040.”
The new Executive Order follows the designation of Graphite One’s Graphite Creek project as a High-Priority Infrastructure Project (HPIP) in both the “renewable energy” and “manufacturing” sectors by the U.S. Government’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Committee (FPISC), the culmination of a process that began when the Project was nominated for HPIP designation by Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy in October 2019. The High-Priority designation allows Graphite One to list on the U.S. Government’s Federal Permitting Dashboard, which ensures federal agencies coordinate their project review authorities, resulting in a more efficient process with more transparency for state agencies and the public.
“This new EO continues a significant alignment between tech manufacturing and the tech materials that make it possible,” continued Mr. Huston. “When President Biden issued his Buy American Executive Order just a month ago, he referred directly to mining and to materials. And when new Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, testified in her nomination hearing in the Senate, she had a very detailed back-and-forth discussion with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the Senate’s thought-leader on critical minerals issues. Secretary Granholm couldn’t have been any clearer: ‘We can buy electric car batteries from Asia, or we can make them in America’. Pretty simple, pretty strong. We at Graphite One couldn’t agree more.”