Why Graphite Is a Critical Material for the US

Source:

"According to a Canaccord research report, 'annual flake graphite production will have to increase by a factor of six by 2020 to meet incremental lithium carbonate requirements for batteries.'"

MetalMiner, Taras Berezowsky

I never expected to be talking metalsólet alone the nitty-gritty of graphiteówith my doctor.

Several weeks ago, I made an appointment with an otolaryngologist to follow up on an ear infection I'd contracted. When I sat up on a high examination table in a small room with a window and a huge cross-section of an ear on the wall, the short, gray-haired and good-spirited doctor and I got to talking about what I did for a living.

When I told him, he whipped off his glasses and barely took a breath before shooting me a question: "What do you know about graphite?"

After I mentioned its uses in the steelmaking process and that I thought it played a role in electric car batteries, he was visibly excited; little did I know then that we would talk about graphite investing and the future of graphite prices the rest of my visit.

Indeed, we talked about that much more than my ear, which seemed a cakewalk compared to the intricacies of graphite price volatility.

As MetalMiner has reported before, the U.S. State Department, British Geological Survey and the European Commission have all declared graphite to be a critical raw material, due to its importance in crucial industries such as steel, lithium-ion batteries, and nuclear reactors. (Although it's a semimetal, graphite plays auxiliary roles across metals sectors.)

Lithium-ion batteries, widely used in cell phones, power tools and notebook computers, contain almost twenty times more graphite than lithium. According to a Canaccord research report, "annual flake graphite production will have to increase by a factor of six by 2020 to meet incremental lithium carbonate requirements for batteries."

The U.S. does not produce natural graphite domestically and is almost completely dependent on imports for graphite supply. . .View Full Article

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