Great Lakes Graphite Inc. ("GLK" or the "Company")(TSX VENTURE:GLK)(OTC PINK:GLKIF)(FRANKFURT:8GL) today announces that the Company and Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC ("AAM" or "Ashland") have formed a partnership to work together to develop the capability for industrial scale purification of micronized graphite. Access to large volume purification capabilities will create a strong competitive advantage for Great Lakes Graphite as it continues preparations to join the energy storage and lithium-ion battery market supply chains.
- Great Lakes Graphite is partnering Ashland Advanced Materials, a leading provider of high purity graphitized carbon products.
- Baseline purification cost data and material for customer sampling have been generated.
- Niagara facility is optimally located to benefit from well established battery-related initiatives in upstate New York, including the recently opened Battery Commercialization Center.
Great Lakes Graphite has established a partnership with Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC, a privately-owned, leading provider of graphitized carbon products, headquartered in Niagara Falls, New York. The partnership is focused on high volume purification of micronized flake graphite. Towards this end, Great Lakes Graphite and Ashland have executed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework for now moving towards a definitive agreement that will formalize the terms of the partnership.
Senior Vice President of Sales Mike Coscia said, "We are extremely fortunate to have a partner with the advanced, industrial-scale graphite purification capabilities that Ashland offers. Equally as valuable is the accumulation of knowledge and experience by the Ashland team which is a critical resource in our joint development efforts. The initial purification work we have done together is providing baseline cost data and also high purity micronized graphite material for our customer sampling program."
The partnership will seek to leverage Ashland's Niagara location by connecting to ongoing economic development initiatives that are well-established in the region. In January 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Buffalo Billion Part 2, a continuation of a major state commitment to economic development in the Buffalo-Niagara area. Among other things, that initiative is targeting funding for strategic advanced manufacturing projects.
New York State has made a significant commitment to becoming a global leader in battery technology through investments in the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) headquartered in Albany, New York (https://www.ny-best.org/) and the Battery Commercialization Center that recently opened in the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York (http://tinyurl.com/hke7vk2).
Matt Reineke, President of Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC, said, "We are excited about working with Great Lakes Graphite on graphite purification. We have gotten to know the team over the past year of working together and believe that there is a significant opportunity for high purity micronized graphite for a number of rapidly-growing markets. The Great Lakes team has proven themselves to be solid partners, resourceful and capable and well-aligned with our long held commitments and values that have Ashland Advanced Materials the successful enterprise that it is today."
Great Lakes Graphite Chief Executive Officer Paul Gorman said, "This partnership represents a watershed moment for the company. We have in Ashland Advanced Materials, a partner who represents a crucial link in the graphite value chain and a link that is indispensable to the manufacture of graphite material for lithium-ion battery anode usage. We are grateful to have a partner with truly world-class capabilities, a strategically-located facility that has all of the required infrastructure and an unparalleled wealth of knowledge regarding advanced carbon purification technologies. We will be sharing more information about development work we have been jointly conducting as those results become available."
About Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC: Ashland Advanced Materials, Niagara Falls, NY, is a world-class 110,000 square foot facility focused on producing high temperature heat treating products used in the solar cell and fuel cell industry. Ashland Advanced Materials is quickly becoming a global leader that provides customers with high quality advanced materials. AAM concentrates on heat treating materials using multiple induction lines with capability of reaching 3000C°temperatures. Ashland Advanced Materials has a positive impact on the environment by reducing energy consumption from utilizing hydropower from The Niagara Falls.