Vancouver, BC – Graphite One Inc. (TSX-V:GPH | OTCQX:GPHOF) (“Graphite One” or the “Company”) announced today that on January 15, 2021 it received notice that the Company’s Graphite Creek Project has been designated a High‐Priority Infrastructure Project (HPIP) by the U.S. Government’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Committee (FPISC). The approval is the culmination of a process that began with the nomination on October 4, 2019 by Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy of Graphite One’s project for High‐Priority Infrastructure Project designation. 1
“Designating the Graphite Creek Project as a High‐Priority Infrastructure Project will send a strong signal that the U.S. intends to end the days of our 100% import‐dependency for this increasingly critical mineral,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy in his nomination letter.
According to the FPISC’s notice letter, the FPISC has “…determined, in consultation with [Office of Management and Budget] OMB and [Council on Environmental Quality] CEQ, that this project clearly qualifies under the ‘manufacturing’ and ‘renewable energy’ sectors, among several other sectors.”
With this FPISC determination, Graphite One can elect to list on the Federal Permitting Dashboard should the Company choose to do so. The Federal Permitting Dashboard ensures that federal permitting agencies coordinate their project review authorities, resulting in a more efficient process, with more transparency for state agencies and the public. This designation does not remove any of the stringent environmental standards or permitting requirements necessary for the Graphite Creek project and enhances Graphite One’s ongoing commitment to local stakeholders for a transparent and thorough permitting process.
“Graphite One thanks Governor Dunleavy for nominating our project for the federal high‐ priority designation,” said Anthony Huston, CEO of Graphite One. “We see the fact that our project qualifies under the FPISC’s Renewable Energy and Manufacturing sectors as recognition of graphite as essential to a sustainable U.S. infrastructure supply chain.”
The Graphite Creek designation comes as a new U.S. Presidential Administration highlights electric vehicles (“EV”) and the EV infrastructure as central to green energy policy. According to renewable energy analyst Simon Moores of the UK’s Benchmark Minerals Intelligence: “What we expect from the Biden Administration is to simply make one of their policies to make gigafactories across the whole country at scale in order to turbo‐charge and protect their biggest automobile companies such as Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM)” 2 As Shane Lasley of North of 60 Mining News reports in regard to the EV and renewable energy sectors, “Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) is not the only automaker vying for graphite and other battery metals. With every major carmaker adding electrified models to their lineup, the number of EVs being built each year is expected to expand from about 2 million this year to more than 25 million by 2030 and 55 million by 2040.”3
At full production, Graphite One’s proposed advanced graphite product manufacturing plant ‐ the second link in its proposed supply chain strategy ‐ is projected in its Preliminary Economic Analysis to convert Graphite Creek’s annual 60,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate into 41,850 tonnes of EV‐battery grade Coated Spherical Graphite and 13,500 tonnes of purified graphite powders. 4
Graphite as a Critical Mineral
The U.S. Government in 2018 placed natural graphite on its Critical Minerals List of materials critical to the national economy and national security of the United States. The United States currently has no domestic natural graphite production and is 100% reliant on imports with China producing 70% of the world’s supply.5 According to the authoritative US Geological Survey report, Critical Mineral Resources of the United States (2017): “Graphite is considered a critical and strategic mineral because of its essential applications in the aerospace and energy sectors (such as refractory and foundry applications in the steel and metal industries and use in high‐temperature lubricants, high‐strength lightweight composite materials, batteries, modern nuclear reactors, fuel cells, electric motors, and evolving electronic applications that anticipate rapid growth in demand for graphite).”6
The World Bank’s Climate‐Smart Mining Initiative includes graphite among its clean‐tech, green‐tech materials, projecting global graphite demand to rise 494% between 2020 and 2050. According to the USGS, “Graphite’s use in rechargeable batteries, as well as technologies under development (such as large‐scale fuel‐cell applications), could consume as much graphite as all other uses combined.”7 As a result, projects like Graphite One’s Graphite Creek will provide essential supply chain infrastructure for the United States’ green tech/clean tech sectors.
About Graphite One Inc.
GRAPHITE ONE INC. (GPH: TSX‐V; GPHOF: OTCQB) continues to develop its Graphite One Project (the “Project”), whereby the Company could potentially become an 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 lithium‐ion electric vehicle battery market. As set forth in the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment, potential graphite mineralization mined from the Company’s Graphite Creek Property, is expected to be processed into concentrate at a graphite processing plant. The proposed processing plant would be located on the Graphite Creek Property situated on the Seward Peninsula about 60 kilometers north of Nome, Alaska. CSG and other value‐added graphite products, would likely be manufactured from the concentrate at the Company’s proposed graphite product manufacturing facility, the location of which is the subject of further study and analysis. The Company intends to make a production decision on the Project once a feasibility study is completed.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“Anthony Huston” (signed)
For more information on Graphite One Inc. please visit the Company’s website, www.GraphiteOneInc.com or contact:
CEO, President & Director
Tel: (604) 889‐4251
Investor Relations Contact
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward‐Looking Statements
This release includes certain statements that may be deemed to be forward‐looking statements. All statements in this release, other than statements of historical facts, are forward‐looking statements.
Generally, forward‐looking information can be identified by the use of forward‐looking terminology such as “proposes”, “expects”, or “is expected”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “projects”, “intends”, “assumes”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “indicates” or variations of such words and phrases that state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will have”, “occur” or “be achieved”.
Forward‐looking information in this release includes, but is not limited to, statements regarding the stage and progress of development of the Graphite Creek Project including the ability to actually produce spherical graphite and other graphite products, results from the 2019 field program, the ability to produce a Prefeasibility Study in the first half of 2021, ultimate further and final results of additional test‐work, estimated capital and sustaining costs and the availability of equipment, labour and resources required, the anticipated applications of graphite in high‐tech, clean tech, energy storage and national security applications and all other anticipated applications, international demand and ability to transport and enter into such markets, are all forward‐looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward‐looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward‐looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward‐looking statements include: (i) volatile stock price, (ii) the results of the product development test work may not be indicative of the advancement of the project as anticipated, or at all, (iii) market prices, (iv) exploitation and exploration successes, (v) continuity of mineralization, (vi) uncertainties related to the ability to obtain necessary permits, licenses and title and delays due to third party opposition, (vii) changes in government policies regarding mining and natural resource exploration and exploitation, (viii) competition faced in securing experienced personnel, access to adequate infrastructure to support mining, processing, development and exploration activities and continued availability of capital and financing, and (ix) general economic, market or business conditions. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward‐looking information, which is given as of the date it is expressed in this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward‐looking information, except as required by applicable securities laws. For more information on the Company, investors should review the Company’s continuous disclosure filings that are available at www.sedar.com.
1 According to U.S. Executive Order 13807 DATE: “The policies established in Executive Order 13807 align the high priority infrastructure designation in Executive Order 13766 with existing coordination frameworks, such as FAST-41.”
2 https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news‐insights/latest‐news‐headlines/biden‐should‐tap‐us‐ doe‐program‐to‐jump‐start‐ev‐supply‐chain‐8211‐analyst‐62120297
3 https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/story/2020/12/31/critical‐minerals‐alaska‐2020/ev‐sector‐drives‐massive‐ graphite‐demand/6489.html
5 Page 72, U.S. Geological Survey, 2019, Mineral commodity summaries 2019: U.S. Geological Survey, 200 p., https://www.usgs.gov/centers/nmic/mineral‐commodity‐summaries
6 Page J5, Robinson, G.R., Jr., Hammarstrom, J.M., and Olson, D.W., 2017, Graphite, chap. J of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. J1– J24, https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/pp1802J.
7 Page 12: Draft Critical Mineral List—Summary of Methodology and Background Information—U.S. Geological Survey Technical Input Document in Response to Secretarial Order No. 3359