Starting in 2016, Great Lakes Graphite has been working with a US-based company in Pennsylvania to process orders for micronized synthetic and natural flake graphite.
By virtue of this arrangement, the company is: introducing products to the market, working with customers to meet their requirements and advancing product development activities.
By the end of 2016, Great Lakes Graphite and our partner were able to fulfill orders for 400 tons of synthetic graphite. Since then we have also worked together to fulfill our first commercial order for micronized natural flake graphite, for a customer located in Western Europe.
Matheson Micronization Facility
The Matheson Micronization Facility is located in Matheson, Ontario, an hour east of Timmins. Great Lakes is a party to a Facilities Use Agreement with the owner of the property that provides for long term access to the plant. The facility is fully integrated and was designed and built for micronization with equipment that is suitable for processing flake graphite and other industrial minerals. Upon successful commissioning, Great Lakes Graphite will begin commercial production of high quality, industry standard micronized graphite products.
The main operating facility is adjacent to Highway 11, a major highway for Northern Ontario, and also has a rail spur to the site allow for easy and economic transport of goods into and out of the site. Matheson is also located a short 70 kilometers from Timmins, Ontario – a stable and significant mining community for over 100 years. The infrastructure, talented labor pool and local history of mining and minerals processing are major advantages to having an operating facility in this area.
Operations at the Matheson Micronization Facility are scheduled to begin upon the successful completion of commissioning activities.
Ashland Advanced Materials has an ISO9001-certified facility located just a few miles from Niagara Falls.
Great Lakes Graphite and Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC have formed a partnership to work together to develop the capability for industrial scale purification of micronized graphite. Access to large volume purification capabilities will create a strong competitive advantage for Great Lakes Graphite as it continues preparations to join the energy storage and lithium-ion battery market supply chains.
The partnership provides a number of benefits, including the following:
- Baseline purification cost data and material for customer sampling have been generated.
- Niagara facility is optimally located to benefit from well established battery-related initiatives in upstate New York, including the recently opened Battery Commercialization Center.
- Great Lakes Graphite has established a partnership with Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC, a privately-owned, leading provider of graphitized carbon products, headquartered in Niagara Falls, New York. The partnership is focused on high volume purification of micronized flake graphite. Towards this end, Great Lakes Graphite and Ashland have executed a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a framework for now moving towards a definitive agreement that will formalize the terms of the partnership.
Senior Vice President of Sales Mike Coscia said, “We are extremely fortunate to have a partner with the advanced, industrial-scale graphite purification capabilities that Ashland offers. Equally as valuable is the accumulation of knowledge and experience by the Ashland team which is a critical resource in our joint development efforts. The initial purification work we have done together is providing baseline cost data and also high purity micronized graphite material for our customer sampling program.”
The partnership will seek to leverage Ashland’s Niagara location by connecting to ongoing economic development initiatives that are well-established in the region. In January 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Buffalo Billion Part 2, a continuation of a major state commitment to economic development in the Buffalo-Niagara area. Among other things, that initiative is targeting funding for strategic advanced manufacturing projects.
New York State has made a significant commitment to becoming a global leader in battery technology through investments in the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) headquartered in Albany, New York (https://www.ny-best.org/) and the Battery Commercialization Center that recently opened in the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York (http://tinyurl.com/hke7vk2).
Matt Reineke, President of Ashland Advanced Materials, LLC, said, “We are excited about working with Great Lakes Graphite on graphite purification. We have gotten to know the team over the past year of working together and believe that there is a significant opportunity for high purity micronized graphite for a number of rapidly-growing markets. The Great Lakes team has proven themselves to be solid partners, resourceful and capable and well-aligned with our long held commitments and values that have Ashland Advanced Materials the successful enterprise that it is today.”
Great Lakes Graphite Chief Executive Officer Paul Gorman said, “This partnership represents a watershed moment for the company. We have in Ashland Advanced Materials, a partner who represents a crucial link in the graphite value chain and a link that is indispensable to the manufacture of graphite material for lithium-ion battery anode usage. We are grateful to have a partner with truly world-class capabilities, a strategically-located facility that has all of the required infrastructure and an unparalleled wealth of knowledge regarding advanced carbon purification technologies. We will be sharing more information about development work we have been jointly conducting as those results become available.”