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As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution moves forward, many expect increasing EV sales to drive demand for graphite, a key metal in lithium-ion batteries.
Even though pricing for the metal has been disappointing for some investors in the past few years, 2021 kicked off with what seems to be a turn for battery metals prices.
Despite the uncertainty brought by the coronavirus pandemic, several Canadian graphite stocks saw impressive year-to-date gains in Q1.
Below we run through 2021’s top graphite stocks year-to-date on the TSX and TSXV. All year-to-date and share price information was obtained on April 13, 2021, from TradingView’s stock screener. All companies listed had market caps above C$10 million at that time.
Year-to-date growth: 344.44 percent; current share price: C$0.40
Toronto-based NextSource Materials is a mine development company in the final development stage of its 100 percent owned Molo graphite project in Southern Madagascar. The Molo project is a fully permitted, feasibility-stage project and is the only project with SuperFlake graphite.
On February 6, the company secured a strategic investment, led by former CEO of Xstrata Mick Davis, to fully fund the construction of its Molo graphite project. Late in March, the company kicked off the construction process with the awarding of an engineering, procurement and construction management contract to Erudite Strategies of South Africa.
At the start of Q2, NextSource finalized a binding agreement to construct and operate a value-added battery anode facility to produce spheronized and purified graphite (SPG), which is required in lithium-ion batteries for EV and hybrid vehicle applications.
The company said the exclusive partnership pairs the company with two well-established and leading companies that process and supply SPG to leading Japanese anode and battery makers, which in turn supply the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) supply chain and other major automotive companies.
Year-to-date growth: 317.65 percent; current share price: C$1.42
Exploration and advanced materials company Gratomic has two graphite projects: Aukam in Namibia and Buckingham in Quebec. The company has two offtake deals for Aukam, which covers a historical vein graphite mine, and is solidifying plans to micronize and spheronize graphite from the asset.
During Q1, Gratomic provided updates on the commissioning of Aukam, which has been underway since March 29. On April 8, Gratomic said it is in the research and planning phase of its goal to use solar power at Aukam. This will enable the company’s Aukam processing plant to transition from traditional fuel generators to clean, renewable and sustainable solar power.
Year-to-date growth: 209.09 percent, current share price: C$0.17
Lomiko Metals is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of resource properties that contain minerals for the new green economy. It owns 100 percent of the La Loutre graphite property and 20 percent of Promethieus Technologies.
On February 1, the company completed its 100 percent acquisition of the La Loutre flake graphite project; Lomiko is now working on a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) to advance the project. On April 7, the company published some initial testing results.
4. Graphite One (TSXV:GPH)
Year-to-date growth: 177.55 percent, current share price: C$1.36
Graphite One is focused on becoming an American producer of high-grade coated spherical graphite primarily for the lithium-ion EV battery market. The company plans to develop its Graphite Creek deposit, located in Alaska, into a vertically integrated operation.
A 2017 PEA estimates the capital costs for the project at C$363 million, with a mine life of 40 years and 60,000 tonnes per year of graphite concentrate output at 95 percent graphitic carbon, once full production is reached in year six.
On January 17, the company announced that Graphite Creek has been designated a high-priority infrastructure project by the US government’s Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Committee.
5. Focus Graphite (TSXV:FMS)
Year-to-date growth: 145.45 percent; current share price: C$0.13
Advanced exploration and mining company Focus Graphite is aiming to produce graphite concentrate at its wholly owned Lac Knife flake graphite deposit in Quebec. A 2014 feasibility study shows an initial capital cost of US$165.55 million for the top Canadian graphite stock’s project, with estimated production of 44,300 tonnes of concentrate per year over a 25 year period.
During Q1, Grafoid and Focus Graphite announced the submission of a provisional patent application for advanced anode material comprising spheroidal silicon-enhanced graphite particles.
On March 8, the company also provided an update on its project, saying that it resumed work on an environmental and social impact assessment study during the summer of 2020, as COVID-19 containment measures were being eased by the Quebec government. Focus has commissioned global engineering firm DRA Americas to update the 2014 feasibility study for the Lac Knife project.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: Gratomic, NextSource Materials and Lomiko Metals are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.