Graphite One Resources Inc. [TSX-V: GPH | OTCQB: GPHOF] (the “Company” or “GPH”) is exploring, with the intent to develop its Graphite One Project (the “Project”), whereby the Company could potentially become the dominant American producer of high grade Coated Spherical Graphite (“CSG”) that is integrated with a domestic graphite resource. The Project is proposed as a vertically integrated enterprise to mine, process and manufacture high grade CSG primarily for the electric vehicle lithium-ion battery market. Graphite mineralization mined from the Company’s Graphite Creek Property (the “Property”), situated on the Seward Peninsula about 55 kilometers (37 miles) north of Nome, Alaska, would be processed into concentrate at a mineral processing plant (the “Processing Plant”) to be located adjacent to the mine. The graphite concentrate would be shipped to the Company’s proposed product manufacturing facility (the “Manufacturing Plant”) where CSG and other value-added graphite products would be manufactured. Its location is subject to further study and analysis.
The Property’s graphite mineralization has been discovered to be exceptionally unique and distinct from other known graphite materials because it naturally exhibits the morphological characteristics of an already processed material. To highlight these unique properties, the Company has branded Graphite Creek graphite as “STAX GRAPHITE” and designated it as: “S”, as in Spheroidal; “T”, as in Thin; “A”, as in Aggregate; and, “X” as in Expanded. The Company has applied to register the trademark “STAX” in the United States and Canada, in association with Graphite Creek graphite. The Canadian application has been allowed, and registration will ensue following commencement of commercial use of the trade-mark. The U.S. application is suspended pending registration of the Canadian application, given that the Canadian registration is the filing basis for the U.S. application.
The Project’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (the “PEA”), released in February 2017, projected the following, based on information from studies completed to date and documented assumptions:
- sufficient resources exist for a project life of 40 years;
- 55,350 tonnes per year of manufactured graphite products, once full production is reached in the sixth year after start up; and,
- the Project’s resources are economically viable with an estimated after tax net present value of $616 million (10% discount rate), internal rate of return of 22% and payback in the fourth year of production.
The Property contains America’s largest known large flake graphite deposit. Resources identified to date include over 10 million tonnes of indicated resources grading 7.2 % graphitic carbon (“Cg”) and 71 million tonnes of inferred resources at 7.0% Cg identified, using a 6% Cg mining cut-off grade. Work on the Property is progressing through the evaluation phase with environmental baseline sampling programs and engineering studies in progress. Mineral beneficiation testing; design work for the mine, infrastructure and processing plant; environmental studies; and, a resource development drilling program are expected to be undertaken in the months ahead.