The Graphite Story
The commercial market for Graphite is diverse worldwide. The Graphite industry is experiencing an increase in demand from numerous industrial sectors, spanning both developing and developed economies.
Traditional uses of Graphite include steelmaking, electrodes in electric arc furnaces, brake linings, modern pebble bed nuclear reactors, and dry lubricants. There has been an escalation in the use of Graphite in clean energies such as lithium ion batteries and fuel cells, which power hybrid and electric vehicles.
The outlook for high-quality, Large Flake Graphite demand is strong due to the development of new technologies, which use Graphite as an essential component. The United States, Europe and China have included graphite among a short list of critical materials.
Analyst Simon Moores of Benchmark Minerals, London recently noted “Global battery production is expected to receive a turbo boost in the next three years as some of the world’s biggest corporations and disruptive technology companies prepare major entries into the market. Tesla Motors, LG Chem and Foxconn Technology Group are all constructing what can be described as battery super-plants for the electric vehicle (EV) market.”
“Total investment from all three companies is expected to top $5bn and could reach as high as $7bn as they vie for a leading position in a major new global industry.”
“These plans will have a significant impact on the raw materials fuelling the three megafactories, graphite, lithium and cobalt especially, as will the additional growth in the EV battery market which is expected to range, in Benchmark’s conservative estimates, from 10-15% a year.
“The industry will need to be prepared for a raw material surge in 2016 as buying starts for these three plants in what could be a significantly disruptive event.”