CORAL GABLES, FL / ACCESSWIRE / February 7, 2018 / According to a Bloomberg report, $12.2 trillion will be invested in global power generation in the next 25 years and investors are starting to get in on this trend early.
The build-out of Tesla's gigafactory has created new, increasing demand for lithium ion batteries but unlike the name suggests, these power plants have very little lithium within the batteries themselves.
Even Tesla CEO, Elon Musk said himself, "Lithium is actually 2% of the cell mass. It sounds like it's big because it's called lithium ion but it really should be called nickel-graphite because it's mostly nickel and graphite."
Furthermore, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Andrew Miller has stated, "For the first time in over five years, we're now seeing consistent increases in pricing due to supply-side pressures. At the same time, you have the emergence of new demand from value-added applications such as expandable graphite and spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries."
These highly efficient and easily rechargeable batteries are expected to be the fastest growing application in the graphite market between 2017 and 2022. The entire world is including graphite in nearly every portable device that needs an electronic charge.
This includes other auto manufacturers as well. Volkswagen, the world's largest carmaker, said that it expects to need 200 GWh of battery-cell production by 2025 and plans to invest $23.4 billion in zero-emissions vehicles. This would require a huge increase in production because there is only 266 GWh of new battery capacity in the worldwide pipeline between now and 2020, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Companies Are Exploring New Opportunities in Graphite
Junior mining companies are beginning to take notice of this opportunity as well. Graphite Energy Corp (OTC PINK: GRXXF), for example, has set its sites on one of the more prolific regions of Canada to dig into this market potential.
"Our property has a lot of potential because we have historic graphite deposits, many showings and electromagnetic conductors, which we believe could be extensions of the known mineralization. Our host rocks, the Granville province, are the same hosts of several past producing graphite mines and several showings in the vicinity. The Lac Aux Bouleaux property lies adjacent to the south of the Lac Des Iles graphite mine which is considered world class because it produces 25,000 tones of graphite annually and is the largest of only 2 operating graphite mines in North America."
- Joanne Freeze, Geologist/Technical Advisor, Graphite Energy Corp
The potential for graphite goes far beyond normal implementation within electronic devices. The new technology that has brought graphene to market is showing immense potential as well.
Advocates of graphene technology argue that it can be used to create materials 200 times stronger than steel, better at conducting both heat and electricity than copper, and sufficiently flexible that they can be used to form super-strength "tubes" for use in construction, for example.
Graphene also has the potential to completely disrupt the consumer electronics industry, especially when it comes to smartphones. For example, Samsung is working on a new graphene charging technology that could, once available, charge a mobile in just 12 minutes. This graphene can be added to a battery, and, once added, it boosts the capacity of traditional Lithium-ion batteries by 45% dramatically reducing charging times!
But graphene could have a much larger application that could actually save lives. A new study released in the journal Nature Nanotechnology may be a major step towards making desalinated water - water in which salt is removed to make it safe for drinking - a viable option for more of the world. Since roughly 20 percent of the world's population -1.2 billion people - lack access to clean drinking water there is a real opportunity ahead for another developmental piece of the "graphite pie."
North America could become ground zero for this graphite explosion, as production is about to explode and demand could change the supply chain economics dramatically.
Graphite Energy Corp (OTC PINK: GRXXF) has already been able to test their property and evidence already reveals real potential for their location. In fact, the initial results confirmed presence of high-grade large flake graphite at several locations with up to 22.3% graphite carbon. Because of these results, the company is now in the process of retaining a drilling contractor and evaluating permitting requirements.
The growth in demand for lithium ion batteries alone has put mining companies to task and has seen new junior miners taking aim at some of the most fertile regions of the world. These kinds of companies could be set to greatly benefit. But it isn't lithium that is the sole component of these batteries, as many would assume.
Graphite is the real hero of this clean energy boom. Historical data and recent studies indicate the Graphite Energy Corp (OTC PINK: GRXXF) property contains a high proportion of large and jumbo graphite flakes, which is the most commercially valuable form of mineralization.
The addition of new possibilities that graphene could also present could also create a perfect storm for the next big boom that fuels the market in 2018. Now is the time that many are starting to plan a strategy. It will be up to smart investors to make sure they are well prepared for the potential increase in investment dollars that will surely follow the trend.
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