- As more and more consumers choose to curb their environmental input and governments prioritize decarbonization in a bid to fight climate change, the electric vehicle industry is gaining momentum; this achievement owes much to the progress made in critical minerals
- Graphene, a form of graphite that is just one atom thick, emerges as a wonder material with a wide range of potential uses; it is being explored as a potential replacement for traditional Li-ion batteries
- Poised to produce a critical mineral in America for American customers, Reflex aims to re-activate previous supply of graphite and has recently also made a strategic investment into BGS, a graphene cleantech producer, to leverage complimentary fit to its supply chain solution goals
In line with the rapid expansion of the electric vehicle (“EV”) industry, the demand for battery production is experiencing rapid growth, with over five terawatt hours (“TWh”) per year of gigafactory capacity expected globally by 2030 (https://ibn.fm/smgqT). A sector that has paved the way for this success story over the past years is the critical minerals industry. Here, graphite, a key component in lithium-ion batteries that power most of today’s EVs, attracts much attention as consumers adopt electric vehicles and governments design policies to reduce carbon emissions. “With the supply chain that really hasn’t started yet, you think of all these gigafactories, all these big companies that are announcing these big, big plans to have terawatt-sized businesses, which is fantastic. We like shiny things and getting involved with this stuff, but where are these critical elements coming from?” said Paul Gorman, CEO and Director, Reflex Advanced Materials (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF), a mineral exploration company based in British Columbia, as he explained the main industry challenges in a recent interview during Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s World Tour Toronto 2023 (https://ibn.fm/BPVpn).
As a form of carbon, graphite makes a perfect anode material and, as such, dominates today’s commercial lithium-ion battery market. Still, as the industry continues to evolve, another material to burst onto the critical minerals scene. Graphene, a one-atom-thick form of graphite, has also emerged as a key material for developing clean technology and a potential replacement for traditional lithium-ion batteries. 200 times stronger than steel and with a weight 1000 times lighter than paper, it is often cited as a wonder material with a wide range of potential uses, spanning from electronics to airplanes.
Due to graphene’s high conductivity, it is believed that batteries made from graphene could have the potential to deliver faster charging times, higher energy density, and longer lifetimes compared to current battery technologies. Adding to their allure, graphene batteries are cheaper and simpler to produce, which could bring the price of EVs down and make them more accessible to consumers. It is not difficult to see why the graphene market is expected to explode in the coming years. Valued at USD 175.9 million in 2022, this market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 46.6% from 2023 to 2030 (https://ibn.fm/m6anE).
Today, most of the world’s graphite and graphene is produced in China. But Reflex appears poised to be a part of the change that intends to shift the tide. With plans of supplying graphite, Reflex has recently also agreed to make a strategic investment in Bio Graphene Solutions Inc., a nanotechnology company that has developed a scalable, cost-efficient, and controllable graphene cleantech production process from 100% organic source materials (https://ibn.fm/BlRKY).
The company intends to collaborate with BGS on potential cross-development projects, including exploring downstream applications that complement graphite sourced from its Ruby Graphite project. “There is currently zero commercial graphite produced in America for American customers. BMI has talked about the fact that they need 97 new graphite mines to actually just cover off their EV requirements to 2035. Reflex just wants to be a little piece of that,” said Gorman. “North American graphite sources are going to be needed to supply all these gigafactories with graphite in the next three or four years. There is support from the DLA, the DoE, and the USGS,” he concluded.
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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