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Canada’s graphite to shield North America against geopolitical risks, says Lomiko Metals

24th October 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The impending graphite export restrictions from China serve as a compelling reminder of the importance of cultivating robust and resilient supply chains within North America, says Lomiko Metals CEO Belinda Labatte.

Lomiko owns the La Loutre natural flake project, and is looking to advance several prefeasibility- (PFS-) level initiatives, while continuing partnerships with universities in Quebec.

“Advancing Canadian projects is a North American solution to minimise geopolitical risks,” said Labatte in a statement, reflecting on China’s move to limit graphite exports to safeguard national security.

This move is part of China’s broader strategy to regulate the supply of critical minerals. The US is 100% dependent on the importation of graphite and anode materials, used in electric vehicle batteries.

Lomiko is now focused on PFS-level metallurgical studies with National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance and funding from CRITM, through the Québec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals from Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêts.

These studies involve the research and development of a technological prototype for graphite processing, comprising several stages, including flotation testing, micronization, spheronization, purification, and coating of the flotation concentrate prior to coin and pouch battery testing.

Lomiko’s recent studies have shown that it has a product amenable to the anode market, as well as other industry segments.

To build on the results over the last 18 months, additional PFS studies are required, and the company says it is looking at sources of funding, including government grants to advance further studies.

In May 2023, Lomiko filed a National Instrument 43-101 technical report and mineral resource estimate update for the La Loutre project. The 2023 update shows total indicated resources at La Loutre to be 64.7-million tonnes at 4.59% carbon graphitic for a total of 2.97-million tonnes of graphite in-situ, and an inferred resource of 17.4-million tonnes at 3.72% carbon graphitic for a total of 0.65-million tonnes of graphite in-situ.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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