- North America is actively developing domestic graphite supply as part of the EV revolution to reduce dependence upon China, the world’s top supplier
- Reflex Advanced Materials is executing on a “mine-to-market” strategy where it will have integrated domestic operations to supply high purity natural graphite for hi-tech applications, including EV batteries
- Reflex recently completed a TDEM and magnetic helicopter survey on its Ruby Graphite property, which will deliver additional data to map the depth and extent of mineral deposits planned to be drilled this summer
As it goes, China is currently the dominant player in the electric vehicle supply chain, but it is growing increasingly clear that some countries intend to change the paradigm, namely the U.S. and Canada. The plan is in motion to transition North America into a growing power for several metals integral to EV production, including graphite, a metal labeled as critical to national security by both Ottawa and Washington, D.C.
On May 4, 2023, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) called attention to China’s control over the supply chain for batteries, including critical minerals, and outlined the issues that Congress should address. Amongst other facts detailing China’s near monopoly, Sen. Cornyn noted “Last year, China’s battery manufacturing capacity accounted for 77% of the global total. Its production capacity is greater than that of the rest of the world combined.” Noting the vulnerable nature of the EV supply chain, the senator is calling for bipartisan support to address the situation.
In 2021, the U.S. relied on foreign sources for 100% of the 53,000 metric tons of graphite it used. Graphite has not been produced in the U.S. since the 1950s. In short, the country needs a graphite plan and needs it fast.
The Biden administration stands in full support of a green economy and setting up domestic supply for critical minerals, pledging hundreds of millions of dollars and incentives for infrastructure. Companies have responded. After President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, the U.S. gigafactory capacity pipeline to 2031 shot to a record high, passing Europe’s for the first time ever in April, according to Benchmark.
Given that some of the world’s leading EV manufacturers, such as Tesla, Ford, and General Motors, are based in the U.S., developing local infrastructure that can provide a competitive edge. In addition, if the U.S. decides to implement new tariffs on graphite and other materials coming from China, the need for domestic supply becomes even more imperative to contain costs.
The U.S. may not produce graphite right now, but it does have substantial resources that are being explored. The largest known graphite deposit in the country is the Graphite Creek deposit in Alaska where exploration has identified a Measured and Indicated resource of more than 10 million metric tons of ore with 7.8 to 8 percent graphite.
Reflex Advanced Materials (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) is advancing its flagship Ruby Graphite Project in Beaverhead County in southwestern Montana. With its “mine-to-market” strategy, Reflex aims to improve domestic specialty mineral infrastructure efficiencies to meet surging national demand from North American manufacturers, effectively positioning itself as one of the only North American suppliers of high purity natural graphite for hi-tech applications.
Reflex in June completed a TDEM (time-domain electromagnetic) and magnetic helicopter survey on its Ruby Graphite property. These surveys, which covered the entirety of the project, are used to map the depth and extent of mineral deposits and enhance Reflex’s understanding of Ruby’s geological characteristics.
Preliminary results from the TDEM and magnetic survey have demonstrated promising anomalies, indicating the presence of conductive structures, several new anomalies, and potential graphite mineral deposits within the Ruby Graphite property. The survey data will be integrated with existing geological data and other exploration data to prioritize target areas for future drilling and further exploration efforts, including a summer drill program.
Reflex is no ordinary explorer. The company has a comprehensive strategy for proving the economics of the property which has extremely high-quality graphite material based on a USGS survey of the Ruby property. Once mined, the company intends to custom process graphite products to customer specifications via partners that operate world-class processing facilities capable of micronization, spheronization, purification, and coating of graphite particles required to manufacture high purity materials from graphite concentrate.
Reflex has relationships with 25+ key North American prospective customers and has already begun the qualification processes with these companies, making this the type of activity necessary to develop a North American graphite supply chain, breaking a 70-year drought and loosening China’s stranglehold on the market.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ReflexMaterials.com.
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