- With EV sales skyrocketing around the world, securing lithium and natural graphite supplies has become a priority for battery manufacturers
- Reflex Advanced Materials has centered its efforts around catering to the lithium and graphite supply chains, with the company announcing that it had fulfilled the penultimate capital payment step needed to secure 100% ownership of its Ontario-based Zigzag lithium project
- The company also took the opportunity to announce the start of core exploratory drill work within the Montana-based Ruby Graphite project
As auto sales staged a significant recovery in the United Kingdom this summer, electric vehicles led the surge. The British Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (“SMMT”) revealed that a new battery electric car was registered every sixty seconds, with electric vehicle (“EV”) deliveries rocketing by 87.9 percent relative to the previous year. Moreover, the industry body forecast that new electric vehicle sales momentum would continue its meteoric rise, foreseeing that an electric vehicle would be registered every 50 seconds by year end, rising to one in every 40 by 2024 – a beneficiary of rising uptake levels for EV’s amongst automobile purchasers (https://ibn.fm/5SUjY).
The increase in electric vehicle demand has led to a proportional increase in electric battery sales; automotive lithium-ion battery demand increased by approximately 65 percent to a cumulative 550 GWh in 2022, up from 330GWh in 2021 (https://ibn.fm/YuSYD). The ongoing shift towards renewable energy technologies within the automotive industry has led to a spiraling need to ensure the supplies of key raw materials within the battery manufacturing process – with lithium and graphite ranking chief amongst these. A typical EV battery can contain upwards of 8 kilograms of lithium and up to 50-100 kilograms of graphite (https://ibn.fm/L1WYT); Reflex Advanced Materials (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF), a British Columbia-based strategic minerals company has centered its corporate mission around locating and developing economic properties within the advanced materials space to cater to the rapidly growing needs of the global electric vehicle industry supply chain.
In mid-August, Reflex Advanced Materials announced that it would be issuing 100,000 new common shares of its capital, the penultimate step needed to fulfil a mineral property option payment agreement the company had entered in 2021 for its Zigzag lithium project. Located near Crescent Lake, Ontario and consisting of eight mining claims totaling approximately 2,710 hectares, the Zigzag lithium project is located deep within an area which has come to be known as the Seymour-Crescent-Falcon lithium belt (https://ibn.fm/laWTE), a geographical phenomenon which has witnessed a number of recent lithium-focused exploration successes over the past few years.
Securing a steady source of lithium has become an increasingly urgent priority for EV battery manufacturers, with Albemarle, the world’s largest lithium producer, recently warning that global lithium demand could outstrip supply by approximately 500,000 tonnes as early as 2030. Despite 45 lithium mines operating globally in 2022, with a further 11 planned to open this year, and an additional seven in 2024, incoming supply of the mineral may not be sufficient to satisfy the sector’s voracious demand.
“You could end up in a crisis situation where the battery companies don’t have the security of (lithium) feedstock,” Stu Crow, chairman of peer lithium producer Lake Resources (https://ibn.fm/0fE9r).
In addition to its lithium-focused ambitions, Reflex Advanced Materials has also sought to boost its graphite supply capacity. One of only a handful of companies catering to the western natural graphite supply chain, Reflex announced that it would shortly begin mobilizing drill equipment for its planned Summer 2023 initial drill program at the Ruby Graphite project in Montana. The Ruby Graphite project, which had earlier produced upwards of 2,400 tons of graphite between 1902 and 1948, will see Reflex carry out over 3,500 meters of core exploratory drill work, with the company announcing that preparatory drill pad construction was already underway (https://ibn.fm/f4l6g).
Paul Gorman, CEO of Reflex Advanced Materials, expressed his enthusiasm about the upcoming drilling campaign, stating, “The mobilization of drill rigs marks an important milestone for Reflex as we advance our exploration efforts at the Ruby Graphite project. We are confident that this drill program will not only confirm the presence of high-grade graphite based on the historical commercial production from the historical Crystal Graphite mine which operated within the current Ruby Graphite project before 1948, but also provide proof-of-concept for moving forward with this important critical and strategic resource.”
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ReflexMaterials.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to RFLXF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RFLXF
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