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Australian Government Identifies Graphite as “Critical Mineral”

April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019

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Australian Government Identifies Graphite as “Critical Mineral”

In a report released by the Australian Government last month, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has outlined a framework to position Australia as a world leader in production and processing of critical minerals. Of the 24 minerals listed in the report, graphite ranks 9th in terms of the global market value, listed as a $1.076 billion industry.

In a report released by the Australian Government last month, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has outlined a framework to position Australia as a world leader in production and processing of critical minerals. Of the 24 minerals listed in the report, graphite ranks 9th in terms of the global market value, listed as a $1.076 billion industry.

All 24 minerals listed within the Critical Minerals Strategy are also identified within the United States’ counterpart strategy as ‘critical minerals’, highlighting the impending demand for these minerals in coming years, many of which are fundamental to sizable growth markets: electric vehicles, rechargeable batteries, electronics, mobile devices and defense technologies.

Table of 24 critical minerals in Australia

As a key ingredient in the production of lithium-ion batteries, graphite is the largest raw material input for Tesla’s megafactories where the company produces the Li-ion batteries required for their growing fleet of electric vehicles.

Across the pond, German car manufacturer Volkswagen has recently increased its targets from having 15 million EVs on the road to 22 million by 2028. To do so, Volkwagen has this week signed a 10-year offtake agreement with Ganfeng, one of China’s largest battery manufacturers.

As more battery and EV manufacturers seek long-term supply for crucial raw materials for ready-made batteries, we continue to see significant activity in Africa which is emerging as the globe’s best source of large-flake graphite – the very specific type that is suitable for battery anodes.

With each passing month, graphite producers and developers in the Sub-Saharan continent are being approached for long-term offtake of their raw materials. This week, Walkabout Resources (ASX: WKT) joined the party, signing an agreement to sell  75% of its large flake graphite from their Lindi project in Tanzania to Qingdao Rising Dawn Graphite Technology, for the project’s first three years of production.

As the world continues progressing rapidly towards a clean energy future, it is becoming evidently clear that the raw input for battery-suitable graphite required is trending towards a supply pinch as more attention is paid to advanced graphite projects in Africa.

One of those projects that could be on the radar of offtake partners is the Maniry Graphite Project in Southern Madagascar, wholly owned by BlackEarth Minerals (ASX: BEM). BEM has recently raised $1.5 million from its shareholders and institutional investors to progress the project aiming to be in production of Australia’s newly rated “critical mineral” by 2021.

Investors interested in updates from BlackEarth Minerals can join their mailing list here.


*Reach Markets has been engaged by BEM to assist with their private investor management.


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