Some are calling for the “next gold rush” to come sooner than imagined but unlike the yellow metal that traditionally pops into people’s heads, something new is causing investors to flock to one mineral that could be the key to the next industry revolution.
To really understand the sheer size and scope of the potential at hand, you really have to start with the mineral itself. This metal has been credited with the ability to put out significant amounts of power while also holding a sizable charge as well.
Since the late 1700s, the world has undergone three distinct stages of industrial revolution. This entire era was powered by fossil fuels, leading to a great divide of labor, wealth, and power alongside decades of reoccurring social, economic, and political conflicts.
The fourth industrial revolution is now upon us where today’s energy based economy is focused on strategic mineral production. This is now bringing unique opportunities to those companies ready to supply the breakout technologies affecting profound global economic changes.
This opportunity comes as China takes a step back from years of dominance in the renewable energy sector. With mining and production practices that have typically been far from sustainable, China is now cutting back on many strategic mineral exports.
The build out of Tesla’s gigafactory has literally created new demand for lithium ion batteries but unlike the name suggests, these power plants have very little lithium within the batteries themselves.
Even Tesla CEO, Elon Musk said himself, “Lithium is actually 2% of the cell mass. It sounds like it’s big because it’s called lithium ion but it really should be called nickel-graphite because it’s mostly nickel and graphite.”
The demand for graphite is growing due to industrial related products. The fastest growing driver is the lithium-ion battery industry. Lithium-ion batteries require 20 to 30 times more graphite than lithium according to research.
These highly efficient and easily rechargeable batteries are expected to be the fastest growing application in the graphite market between 2017 and 2022. The entire world is including graphite in nearly every portable device that needs an electronic charge.
Furthermore, almost every automotive manufacturer has some sort of plan to debut new electric vehicles in the near future. Data provided by Peter O’Connor of the Union of Concerned Scientists showed that the electric vehicle market grew by 32% annually between 2012 and 2016, and is expected to grow up to 40% in 2017.
Data by Electric Vehicle Outlook projects that electric vehicles will account for 54% of new car sales by 2040.
Since the beginning of 2017, the market has reached a new peak of lithium-ion battery capacity in the pipeline. An additional 153 GWh has been added to planned capacity build-outs this year alone, taking the total to 372 GWh.
Today, Graphite Energy Corp (CSE: GRE) (OTC: GRXXF) is working to position itself in the middle of this exciting story!
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s goal is to be building 500,000 electric-vehicles (EV) by 2020. With this planned production rate in the latter half of the decade, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium-ion batteries. With this immense demand, graphite mining companies like Graphite Energy Corp (OTC: GRXXF) could be set to see a major boost in production demand!
There are two primary raw materials necessary to build lithium-ion batteries; lithium and graphite; roughly 15x more graphite than lithium.
In a clear indication that Tesla has begun sourcing the raw materials needed for its Nevada gigafactory, last week Tesla signed a 5-year lithium supply agreement with Vancouver based Pure Energy. This puts Tesla well on its way to meeting its lithium supply needs, however, the company still faces the task of securing its graphite needs for the gigafactory.
Tesla can acquire this through the supply of synthetic graphite, which is very expensive (up to $20,000 per ton) and requires fossil fuels to manufacture. Both of which go against Tesla’s announced mandate to reduce the cost of battery production and move away from reliance on hydrocarbons.
Alternatively, they can secure off-take from a high quality, graphite deposit, much like they did with the Pure Energy lithium. Given the substantial concerns surrounding Chinese graphite mines (world’s largest graphite producer) it is quite likely that Tesla will seek a North American source for its graphite. This will be a main point of focus for investors looking to get in on the ground floor of the graphite boom.
“Our property has a lot of potential because we have historic graphite deposits, many showings and electromagnetic conductors, which we believe could be extensions of the known mineralization. Our host rocks, the Granville province, are the same hosts of several past producing graphite mines and several showings in the vicinity. The Lac Aux Bouleaux property lies adjacent to the south of the Lac Des Iles graphite mine which is considered world class because it produces 25,000 tones of graphite annually and is the largest of only 2 operating graphite mines in north America.”
– Joanne Freeze, Geologist/Technical Advisor, Graphite Energy Corp. (OTC: GRXXF)
According to market research firm IHS Markit, lithium-ion batteries represent the fastest-growing form of energy storage and will be a part of about 80% of storage installations by 2025.
Because of the energy density afforded by the lightweight metal, there is nothing likely on the near-term horizon as a substitute for lithium-ion batteries in terms of economic utility.
In other words, graphite is essential and could be set to continue to grow in importance for the foreseeable future. The main point to recognize is that the industry economics on a basic level could already be pointing to sizeable move coming for graphite.
Investors are sending the prices of the raw materials used to make lithium-ion batteries rapidly higher on hopes that demand for electric cars surges. The rise comes amid fears that the supply of the metals needed for batteries might not meet the new demand. And it just so happens that Graphite Energy Corp (CSE: GRE) (OTC: GRXXF) is located in one of the most prolific graphite producing areas in North America.
Volkswagen, the world’s largest carmaker, said that it expects to need 200 GWh of battery-cell production by 2025 and plans to invest $23.4 billion in zero-emissions vehicles. This would require a huge increase in production because there is only 266 GWh of new battery capacity in the worldwide pipeline between now and 2020, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence analyst Andrew Miller said, “For the first time in over five years, we’re now seeing consistent increases in pricing due to supply-side pressures.
At the same time, you have the emergence of new demand from value-added applications such as expandable graphite and spherical graphite for lithium-ion batteries.”
Government environmental initiatives are likely to increase demand. The UK and France are banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 and China says that 10% of cars it produces by 2019 must be zero-emissions.
There’s huge room for growth, too: electric vehicles account for six of the ten fastest-selling used car models in the US, where they make up just 1% of total new sales.
So as the electric vehicle revolutionizes travel, the latest solar roofing and battery storage systems are transforming the future of grid power. And extraordinary new graphite technologies are making materials stronger than steel, with super conductive properties leading to advances in robotics along with high-efficiency nuclear reactors.
For those of you new to the hottest trend in most scientific journals, is a material derived from standard graphite, like the kind found in everyday pencils. But when graphite is shaved to extreme thinness; it is the thinnest material known, and behaves in truly astonishing ways.
Advocates of graphene technology argue that it can be used to create materials 200 times stronger than steel, better at conducting both heat and electricity than copper, and sufficiently flexible that they can be used to form super-strength “tubes” for use in construction, for example.
These properties have some people thinking graphene will become the hot new tech, and point to the huge number of graphene patents being taken out by companies such as Samsung, IBM, and SanDisk as evidence of the material’s potential.
Graphene, due to its diminutive size and amazing thermal, electrical, and optical properties, will allow for further miniaturization and allow computers to continue on their historical track — doubling in power every two years.
Graphene also has the potential to completely disrupt the consumer electronics industry, especially when it comes to smartphones.
For example, Samsung is working on a new graphene charging technology that could, once available, charge a mobile in just 12 minutes. This graphene can be added to a battery, and, once added, it boosts the capacity of traditional Lithium-ion batteries by 45% dramatically reducing charging times!
But graphene could have a much larger application that could actually save lives! A new study released in the journal Nature Nanotechnology may be a major step towards making desalinated water—water in which salt is removed to make it safe for drinking—a viable option for more of the world.
Researchers from the University of Manchester modified graphene oxide membranes, a type of selectively permeable membrane that allows some molecules to pass while keeping others behind, to let water through while trapping salt ions.
Numbers don’t lie! Roughly 20 percent of the world’s population—1.2 billion people—lack access to clean drinking water.
It’s a number that’s expected to grow as populations increase and existing water supplies dwindle, in part due to climate change. This reality has led some to suggest that the world’s next “gold rush” will be for water. And this concern is not without merit: the war currently raging in Yemen is linked, at least in part, to water conflicts.
No matter the application for graphene, one of the best ways for investors to profit from global economic megabooms is with “pick and shovel” providers of raw materials and services that fuel a major technological paradigm shift. Graphene represents just such a shift.
The growth in demand for lithium ion batteries alone has put mining companies to task. It isn’t about lithium, as many would assume. Graphite is the real hero of this clean energy boom. Historical data and recent studies indicate the Graphite Energy Corp (CSE: GRE) (OTC: GRXXF) property contains a high proportion of large and jumbo graphite flakes, the most commercially valuable form of mineralization.
Plans for 2018 include additional exploration, mat testing and diamond drilling to further evaluate the extent of the Graphite Energy Corp. (OTC: GRXXF) asset.
As Tesla CEO Elon Musk has stated, lithium makes up a very small part. The sheer size and scope of the potential at hand could be massive as this will be uncharted territory for many industries of scale.
Keep in mind that much of the potential in front of us could be right in our very own backyard, as North America could become ground zero for this graphite explosion. Graphite production in North America is about to explode and we believe demand is going to change the supply change economics dramatically. And with change comes opportunity!
Tie in the new possibilities that graphene could also present and there may be a perfect storm for the next big boom that fuels the market in 2018. Now is the time to start planning your strategy.
It’s up to savvy investors to make sure they are well prepared for the tsunami of investment dollars that will surely follow the trend and Graphite Energy Corp. (OTC: GRXXF) has already begun to turn heads in a big way! Will you be the one left behind during this new boom and the 4th industrial revolution?
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