ROYAL OAK, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Graphex Group Limited (NYSE American: GRFX | HKSE: 6128) and its U.S. subsidiary, Graphex Technologies LLC (collectively “Graphex”), a global leader in the downstream processing of specialized natural graphite used in electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, today announced it has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with Gratomic Inc., a graphite company based in Toronto, Ontario (TSX-V:GRAT)(OTCQX:CBULF)(Frankfurt:CB82) (the "Company" or "Gratomic"). The intent of the LOI is to combine Gratomic’s raw material supply capabilities with Graphex’s proven downstream processing expertise to solve an industry wide supply-demand gap by delivering an end-to-end supply of graphite from mine to battery with facilities to be located in North America.
Pursuant to the LOI, Graphex and Gratomic intend to diligently and in good faith negotiate the terms of a Joint Venture, including management and ownership structures, to jointly produce coated spherical graphite anode material for the EV/battery market. Graphex will license and/or contribute its technology and expertise to the Joint Venture and Gratomic will provide security of raw material supply (graphite concentrate). It is contemplated that Graphex will provide all the technology, plans and expertise for building and operating the plant(s). Graphex has existing processing facilities in Asia and has also secured and is developing a site in Warren Michigan that is being designed to produce 15,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of battery anode material. Gratomic is the holder of 100% interests in the Aukam property located in southern Namibia and the Buckingham property in Quebec, Canada as well as mineral claims in Capim Grosso in Brazil, from which property rights and claims Gratomic intends to develop operating graphite concentrating facilities. Gratomic shall remain entitled to enter into supply agreements with third parties for raw material not committed to the Joint Venture.
“Keeping with our commitment to secure diversified sources of graphite supply to meet the industry need for battery anode material, this collaboration with Gratomic opens up potential new streams of raw material to meet the coming tidal wave of demand,” said John DeMaio, CEO of Graphex Technologies. “We are excited to expedite the due diligence phase of the collaboration to assess the impact that we can make together. Combining the experience and expertise of Graphex in downstream processing with the anticipated raw material supply from the Gratomic assets is another step forward to improve the anode supply picture for the industry.”
Arno Brand, Gratomic’s CEO, commented “We have been working diligently for a long time to find a perfect match in a downstream Processing partner to enable full cycle anode inclusion of our Graphite product. The collaboration between Gratomic and Graphex now brings forth a combination between the two companies that is unmatched in its ability to present real life mining experience with real life downstream Processing experience. We are very excited to move forward with our due diligence and expeditiously enter into a long lasting relationship with Graphex.”
Graphite is the primary anode material in electrical vehicle (EV) batteries. Typically, graphite is mined and concentrated to ~95% purity by companies such as Gratomic. The mine concentrate is then shaped, purified, and coated to create the critical EV battery anode material in a downstream process by operations like Graphex. The supply picture for natural graphite in North America is marked both by a significant shortfall in the availability of the necessary volume of graphite raw material from regions outside of China that is needed to meet projected demand, and the complete absence of experienced commercial-scale downstream processing capability to transform that raw material into battery-grade anode material. The collaboration between Gratomic and Graphex seeks to solve both issues on an industry-wide level by providing OEMs and battery makers with a transparent, ESG compliant supply of quality product needed to meet current and future demand.
Graphex has a long history of processing mine concentrate and produces 10,000 tpa of high yield, high quality battery anode material. Graphex is currently the only experienced downstream processor of natural graphite that intends to develop an anode material processing plant in North America. The collaboration with Gratomic would allow Graphex to accelerate the expansion of its experienced mid-stream processing capabilities into North America and Europe. Given the emphasis placed on creating domestic U.S. supply chains as promoted through the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Defense Production Act, the Graphex-Gratomic collaboration represents a significant advancement toward making a domestic supply chain for graphite anode material a reality.
To learn more about these developments and more from Graphex Group, please visit www.graphexgroup.com
About Graphex: Graphex Group Limited, is a Cayman Island company with its principal offices in Hong Kong and regional offices in Shanghai and Royal Oak, MI, USA. Graphex is focused on the development of technologies and products to enhance renewable energy, particularly the production of spherical graphite and graphene, key components in EVs/lithium-ion batteries as well as in other uses. Graphex has extensive commercial experience in the deep processing of graphite and producing battery grade purified spherical graphite. Current production is 10,000 tpa and an expansion is underway to increase production to 20,000 tpa within the next 12 months. Graphex intends to further expand existing operations to 40,000 tpa over the next three years. Graphex is currently among the top suppliers of specialized spherical graphite to the EV and renewable energy industries and holds patents in areas including products, production methods, machinery design, and environmental protection. Graphex’s strategy is to expand its operations globally to support energy transition and electrification efforts worldwide,
About Gratomic: Gratomic is a multinational company with projects in Namibia, Brazil, and Canada. The Company is focused on becoming a leading global graphite supplier and aims to secure a strong position in the EV (Electric Vehicle) battery supply chain. With the continued development of its flagship Aukam project and further exploration on the Company's Capim Grosso property, Gratomic sets itself apart by seeking out unique top-quality assets around the world. True to its roots, the Company will continue to explore graphite opportunities displaying potential for development. The Company ranked third place in the top 10 performing mining stocks on the 2022 TSX Venture 50™.
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