Graphite Demand Set to Increase as 125 Million EVs Expected to Hit the Road

With the electric vehicle (EV) boom showing no signs of slowing, graphite is under big demand. Used as an essential material for producing the anode of lithium-ion batteries, it already made it onto the USGS list of 35 minerals considered critical to the U.S. “USGS also sees a major spike in U.S. demand for graphite when Tesla Motor's Gigafactory, an enormous lithium-ion battery facility being constructed in Nevada, is fully operational.”

In addition, consider this. By 2030, the world will see 125 million EVs on the road, which means we’ll need a good deal of graphite, according to Mining News North. By 2025, according to UBS, one is six cars sold will be electric. But for that to happen, we need plenty of graphite. Higher demand is creating opportunity for EV and graphite-related companies, including Gratomic Inc. (TSXV:GRAT)(OTCQB:CBULF), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Graphite One Inc. (TSXV:GPH)(OTC:GPHOF), and Mason Graphite Inc. (TSXV:LLG)(OTC:MGPHF).

Gratomic Inc. (TSXV:GRAT)(OTCQB:CBULF) BREAKING NEWS: Gratomic Inc.  is pleased to announce that the foundations of its product marketing and sales strategy have been officially defined. During the commissioning phase, due to begin in March 2021, the company will be testing production quality and quantity. In order to support this development, Gratomic has plans in place to upgrade its laboratory facilities at Aukam. This will enable us to properly characterize the initial production batches generated during the commissioning process, and feedback the information to our Process Control, in order to define parameters required to ensure repeatability and efficiency of the production.

As a supplement to our main strategic focus on the battery industry and graphene applications (see press release from Dec 30th, 2020), Gratomic will pursue the development of graphite grades commonly used in applications such as graphitic foil, lubricants, crucibles, refractories, friction materials and ceramics, among others.

This will allow the Company to diversify our portfolio and optimize the output of the processing plant. Filling the remainder of the Aukam Book in terms of offtake and purchase schedules. In the coming weeks, Gratomic will pursue the preparation of samples for 53 graphite end users around the world, in order to begin the testing and homologation procedures that precede the use of our product into the most technical applications.

Gratomic's Product Marketing team has requested an additional 550 kg of graphite samples be shipped to Toronto for conversion to SG16 Battery Grade product specifications in addition to the initial shipment of 243Kg of graphite, which was previously dispatched (see press release from Oct 28,2020). Both samples are destined for distribution to Battery OEM Manufacturers.

"This strategy, only possible thanks to the restless efforts of our team on site, will put Gratomic on a privileged position to make a solid transition to a commercially viable Company", says Armando Farhate, COO & Graphite Marketing and Sales Leader.

"We have one of the best marketing teams in Graphite. Their strategy for filling the remainder of our processing capacity is brilliant and will elevate our credibility as a market leader in the vein graphite industry" said Arno Brand, Gratomic President & CEO.

Gratomic wishes to emphasize that no Preliminary Economic Analysis, Preliminary Feasibility Study or Feasibility Study has been completed to support any level of production. In fact no mineral resources, let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam Property.

The Company engaged Dr. Ian Flint, Ph.D., P. Eng. (BC), a Qualified Person as that term is defined under National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects to complete a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on the Aukam Processing plant based upon a resource estimate to be prepared by another Qualified Person. The study, its recommendations, and their subsequent implementation, will provide conclusions and recommendation at a PEA level of comfort relating to the scale up of the existing processing plant to a commercial scale processing facility that will provide the desired concentrate grades and production rates. A preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.

The Company is not in a position to demonstrate or disclose any capital and/or operating costs that may be associated with the processing plant, nor the Company's ability to fulfil its obligations to deliver the 1800 tonnes of graphite as required by the purchaser orders.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) reported, “In the third quarter, we produced just over 145,000 vehicles and delivered nearly 140,000 vehicles. In terms of days of sales, new vehicle inventory declined further in Q3 as we continue to improve our delivery efficiency. Our net income and cash flow results will be announced along with the rest of our financial performance when we announce Q3 earnings. Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5% or more. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company’s financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.”

General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) announced it sold 771,323 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2020. Total sales for the quarter were up 5 percent year over year. GM had its best fourth quarter retail sales since 2007, with deliveries up 12 percent. Sales for the calendar year were 2,547,339 units, with total deliveries down 12 percent year over year and retail deliveries down 6 percent. GM estimates it gained market share across the board in total, retail and fleet deliveries for both the fourth quarter and calendar year. Retail sales for the industry began to recover in May and reached pre-pandemic levels during the fourth quarter. Sales to fleets are recovering but remain sharply lower, especially daily rental deliveries. Average transaction prices set fourth-quarter and full-year records at $41,886 and $39,229, respectively.

Graphite One Inc. (TSXV:GPH)(OTC:GPHOF) announced an adjustment to the net smelter royalty purchase entered into with a third party on October 8, 2020. On October 15, 2020, the Company announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire a 2% net smelter production royalty (NSR) from a third-party against certain claims that are held by the Company, and which make up a part of the Company's Graphite Creek Project in Alaska.

Mason Graphite Inc. (TSXV:LLG)(OTC:MGPHF) announced that it has formalized initial governance changes, which include the appointment of Mr. Fahad Al-Tamimi as Chairman of its Board of Directors, the appointment of Messrs. Peter Damouni and Simon Marcotte as executive directors of the Company and the grant of an aggregate of 6,925,000 stock options to directors, members of management, consultants, and employees of the Company. Mr. Fahad Al-Tamimi, a director of the Company since June 2020, has been appointed Chairman of the Board. Mr. Al-Tamimi is a seasoned businessman who was the founding investor in Mason Graphite in 2012, and who recently led a successful effort to bring meaningful changes to the Board. Mr. Al-Tamimi beneficially owns approximately 9.92% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Company.

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