The Graphite Creek graphite project that TSX-V-listed Graphite One Resources is studying in Alaska could be a key source of supply for the US defence industry, which has recommended that the country reduce its import reliance for critical equipment and material.
Commenting on the White House/US Department of Defence (DoD) report, which reviewed the US defence industrial base, Graphite One CEO Anthony Huston said on Wednesday that the report made a strong case for the strategic importance of minerals like graphite to the US defence industry and the broader manufacturing sector.
“With the US 100% import-dependent for its natural graphite supply, and demand projections showing sharply increased graphite needs, we see the potential for our Graphite Creek project to be a key component in the materials supply chain essential to the high-tech sector, renewable energy and national security/defence applications,” said Huston.
The report directs the Pentagon to expand direct investment in the lower tier of the industrial base and to diversify away from complete dependency on sources of supply in politically unstable countries, which could cut off US access.
“The report’s recommendation of direct investment in companies developing domestic sources of strategic and critical materials is a welcome sign," commented Huston, “given that graphite is essential to so many battery applications and energy storage systems required by the defense sector and commercial sectors alike.”
According to the report, “China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to US national security”, including a “growing number of both widely used and specialised metals, alloys and other materials….”
Graphite One stated that the last unclassified National Defense Stockpile Requirements Report – completed by the DoD for the US House and Senate Armed Services Committees – projected an 83 000 metric ton shortfall for graphite in one of its main crisis scenarios.
The Graphite Creek deposit, near Nome, is the US’s largest known flake graphite deposit.
The project is proposed as a vertically integrated enterprise to mine, process and manufacture high-grade coated spherical graphite, primarily for the lithium-ion electric vehicle battery market.