Graphite One Resources Inc. ("Graphite One" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has commenced product development test work to produce carbon-coated spherical graphite from STAX graphite sourced from the Company's Graphite Creek deposit near Nome, Alaska.
- Carbon-Coated Spherical Graphite expected to be produced early in Q2 2016
- First Step Towards a U.S. Supply Chain for Critical Clean Energy Material
"Production of carbon-coated spherical graphite will be a key step for us," said Anthony Huston, CEO of Graphite One. "As the green technology economy grows, driving continued adoption of electric vehicles and smart grid power storage devices, graphite will increasingly be a key material - a factor already present in rising demand projections."
The test work is expected to provide preliminary information on the milling and spheroidizing yields of STAX graphite, assess non-chemical methods for graphite purification, generate electrochemical performance data of spherical graphite in coin cells tests and generate exploratory samples for potential end-users.
The Company is on schedule to produce the exploratory samples of spherical graphite early in the second quarter of 2016.
"With the United States presently 100% import-dependent for all of its graphite, reliable access to high-purity product will be a key factor in the United States' ability to build sustainable industries in clean-tech and other high-tech applications," Huston noted. "With America's largest natural flake deposit, and the advanced processing capabilities we are now working towards validating, Graphite One is systematically developing critical components of a North American clean-energy supply chain."
In addition to the test work, the Company is validating its mineral processing flowsheet for the Graphite Creek graphite mineralization and is also generating a larger sample of select sized graphite concentrates that will then be purified and processed into ultra-high purity coated spherical graphite.
During the test work to date, less energy intensive milling characteristics of STAX graphite were observed. Preliminary air milling trials successfully achieved a size reduction requiring less than a third of the operating pressure typically used on conventional flake graphite.
Metallurgical testing using Graphite Creek material had previously examined graphite purification (or produced purified graphite) by chemical (acid) treatment. Graphite One is also evaluating green and sustainable cost-effective methods to purify graphite as the Company's preferred approach. Spherical graphite is used mainly in lithium ion batteries, the main demand-driver being electrical and hybrid vehicles.
The processing work, being done by TRU Group Inc ("TRU Group") in the U.S., is expected to produce lab-scale samples of carbon-coated spherical graphite for internal assessment of electro-chemical performance and for potential end-user evaluation. Graphite One anticipates that the samples will be produced within 5 to 6 weeks with the findings to be incorporated into the Preliminary Economic Assessment.
The spherical graphite product from spheroidization will be classified into different size ranges, as only certain sizes will be suited to electric vehicle and power storage applications.
GPH's "STAX" Graphite
In April 2015, the Company announced that TRU Group's comprehensive study of the Company's deposit revealed unique characteristics of the Graphite Creek's mineralization. As identified by TRU, these distinguishing features can be described as Spheroidal, Thin, Aggregate and eXpanded - or STAX.