Efforts with industry partners position the Company to join the global battery supply chain
November 2, 2017, Toronto: Great Lakes Graphite Inc. (“GLK”, “Great Lakes” or the “Company” TSX-V:GLK, OTC PINK:GLKIF, FWB:8GL) today announces that the Company has drafted a definitive agreement to manufacture battery-grade graphite products at commercial scale. The Company expects the agreement to be executed by the end of November.
- Ashland Advanced Materials (“Ashland”) and Great Lakes Graphite (referred to collectively as the “Partners”) with up to 10,000 tons per year of graphite purification capacity, with a long-term capacity goal of 50,000 TPA.
- The partners are developing a CSPG Megafactory concept which include consolidation of the processes required to manufacture CSPG in a single location.
- Over five hundred pounds of high purity graphite were purified during ongoing development work and are now available for further product qualification efforts.
- Multiple CSPG-related development efforts are underway with various partners
Great Lakes Graphite and Ashland Advanced Materials have drafted a definitive agreement
Great Lakes Graphite and Ashland Advanced Materials have drafted a definitive agreement under which Ashland will provide GLK with up to 10,000 tons per year of graphite purification capacity in the initial start-up phase. A requirement to scale up further, to 50,000 tons per year of graphite purification capacity, is anticipated for the subsequent phase. Great Lakes Graphite has conveyed the updated anticipated requirements to their Brazilian supply partner to insure there will be adequate capacity along the supply chain to achieve targeted manufacturing levels.
CSPG Megafactory concept is under development
Lithium-ion battery anodes require graphite that has been processed in a number of ways and is referred to as CSPG, or Coated Spherical Purified Graphite. These processes include micronization, spheronization, purification and coating. The partners are developing a CSPG Megafactory concept which includes the consolidation of all the required processing activities in a single location, with the capacity to accommodate manufacturing at a commercial industrial scale, or 10,000 tons and above per year.
Currently Great Lakes Graphite works with partners to perform these activities on a tolling basis. Creating an infrastructure to consolidate these processes in a single location and under direct control of the Company is anticipated to create improved manufacturing efficiencies. Great Lakes Graphite and Ashland are engaged in ongoing planning and engineering efforts to identify how these additional processes will be accommodated within the existing Ashland facility.
Manufacture of additional product inventory supports ongoing product qualification efforts
As part of the ongoing product development and product qualification efforts, over five hundred pounds of high purity graphite were produced at the Ashland facility at Niagara Falls and are now available for further product qualification efforts. These efforts included the manufacture of 11 kilograms of ultra high purity spherical graphite that was purified to a of level of 99.99% achieved.
Three key CSPG-related development efforts are underway
The Company is engaged in multiple product, process and technology development efforts that are geared towards preparing for large scale manufacture of advanced carbon materials. One such effort involves work with Ashland Advanced Materials on the development of a continuous furnace design that will significantly increase the efficiency of the purification process. Ashland bring over thirty years of expertise in the thermal purification of graphite to this effort.
Currently, the bulk of commercial spheronization of graphite particles for the battery industry is performed in Asia. Great Lakes Graphite is working with North American-based manufacturers of milling equipment on identifying equipment and processing technologies that are capable of producing material to the industry standard with a goal of improving yields beyond what is generally available today.
Manufacture of battery grade graphite for lithium-ion batteries also requires the ability to coat graphite particles to mitigate surface defects and thereby deliver improved electrochemical performance. Great Lakes Graphite has begun development work with a US-based company that has developed advanced capabilities for high-precision particle coating that employs a method that works at the atomic layer. Discussions are underway to identify commercial opportunities.
New York State’s many resources for battery innovation, manufacturing and small businesses
As the Company prepares for expanding operations in the State of New York, a number of resources have been of invaluable assistance. The Rochester area, less than a hundred miles from Niagara Falls, is home to the Battery Test & Commercialization Center, located at Eastman Business Park and the Battery Prototyping Center, located at Rochester Institute of Technology.
At Stony Brook University, the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center has state of the art facilities for materials analysis and characterization and facilities for battery research and development. The Company is actively building a network of relationships with organizations that have complementary goals and available resources to help businesses become established.
About Great Lakes Graphite: Great Lakes Graphite is a Clean Technology Minerals Processing Company supplying customers with innovative, high quality value-added carbon products.
There is no significant graphite production in North America now. As pricing and demand continue to rise, Great Lakes Graphite is one of the first new domestic suppliers to a growing regional customer base. We continually work to deliver products of the best quality with outstanding customer service.
The Company is party to an agreement for long-term supply of high quality natural graphite concentrate from Brazil (see news release dated 03/23/15). Great Lakes Graphite is presently working with an established US-based processor for toll micronization services. The Company has partnered with Ashland Advanced Materials for commercial-scale purification operations at Ashland’s 110,000 square foot purification facility located in Niagara, New York.
Through our partner relationships, Great Lakes Graphite began selling micronized synthetic graphite beginning in 2016 and now supplies micronized and high purity micronized natural flake graphite products to a growing customer base.
Further information regarding Great Lakes can be found on the Company’s website at: www.GreatLakesGraphite.com.
Great Lakes Graphite trades with symbol GLK on the TSX Venture Exchange and currently has 125,656,830 shares outstanding.
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Caution Regarding Forward Looking Information: Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward looking information” which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward looking information. When used in this press release, such forward looking information may use such words as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan” and other similar terminology. Forward looking information is provided for the purpose of presenting information about management’s current expectations relating to the future events and the operating performance of the Company, and readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. The forward looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability of the Company to fulfill the orders and future orders, regulatory requirements, general economic, market or business conditions and future developments in the sectors of the economy in which the business of Great Lakes operates. The foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive. Please see the Company’s financial statements, MD&A and other documents available on www.sedar.com , for a more detailed description of the risk factors. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward looking information, whether a result of new information, future results or otherwise, except as required by law.