2022 should be an interesting year in the world of Graphite.
2022 is shaping up to be a major year in the graphite industry. Why? Here’s our take…
At the forefront of the engineering world there is one big question, one big problem: How to tackle climate change.
Sustainability is where it all is – the best minds, the money, the media attention. Everyone and every industry is looking to science for solutions across the board for a more circular existence.
One of the most ‘glamorous’ of these solutions is, of course, battery technology. And I don’t just mean electric cars.
What Goldman Sachs calls the ‘great battery race’ is underway. Major companies across the world pour billions into battery development, to come out on top of the EV industry.
Where does Graphite come into this?
When we speak about EV one of the most common elements talked about is Lithium. When we talk about lithium batteries, however, we are talking about a technology which uses other minerals too. Our ‘miracle material’ is one of them.
Without graphite to form the anodes of these batteries, they wouldn’t exist. It is the element at the very heart of the Electric Vehicle industry, it’s just not talked about all that much.
In fact, the heavily publicised race to secure a claim to the limited lithium resources in the world has overpowered the quieter concerns regarding graphite supplies.
The vast majority of the graphite anodes used in the EV industry are sourced in China. Leading company Graphex Group Ltd (GRFXY.QX, 6128.HK) are one of the first of their kind, mining and processing raw materials for use in battery tech.
This company appear to have the stronghold on a few household names, and have certainly established dominance in the industry. American and European expansion is on the horizon for 2022.
As it is so critical to the production of batteries, it is another mineral becoming an issue of national security for the US.
In 2018, the US imported 40,000 metric tonnes of graphite. Future needs are estimated at around 1,000,000 tonnes. In 2019, the demand in China alone was at 200,000 tonnes.
Tesla alone requires an estimated 35,200 tonnes of spherical graphite per year.
Neither Europe nor the USA partake in any significant natural graphite mining or processing.
The EV market is set on a massive growth trajectory.
Projections show that of the 89 million vehicles expected by IHS Markit to be sold in 2030, 23.5 million are expected to be electric.
Turns out graphite mining is the place to be.
*this article refers to specifically spherical graphite produced by mined natural graphite rather than the kind of synthetically produced materials provided by Olmec Advanced Materials Ltd*