American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • As graphite demand increases, geopolitical dimension becomes more apparent

    ProEdgeWire’s Graphite and Graphene Weekly Review sees surging demand for graphite and its derivative graphene, not least because of their important role in battery technology, where graphite continues to be a traditional component, while graphene is considered a major factor in future generation batteries. Recent reports of aircraft batteries catching fire won’t change that – as ProEdgeWire’s Allesandro Bruni points out: “for all the gloom experienced by the Boeing, the solution to its problem will be found and it will still involve batteries using graphite anodes.”

    Corresponding with ProEdgeWire’s findings, a new USGS report on graphite outlines increases in both U.S. domestic graphite demand and prices paid for the material. Gross domestic imports of graphite for consumption rose by more than 7 percent from 2010 to 2011.

    While demand is increasing, China, which not only dominates a large share of global graphite supply but also holds all of the spherical graphite processing technology, is pushing to regulate its graphite industry and – very similar to the Rare Earths situation – is in a position to engage in geopolitical powerplays in this field. In this case, however, the saving grace may be that with graphite and graphene, the rest of the world still has a few years left to correct the problem if it places an emphasis on supply diversity now.

    If you’d like to learn more about the relevance of graphite and why graphene may just be the “new black,” check out American Resources expert Simon Moores’s study titled “The Natural Graphite Report 2012.” The report by Moores, a London-based graphite market specialist with Industrial Minerals, reviews “every major graphite producing company around the world, building from the bottom up data and analysis of the industry. It also contains a focus on the commercialisation of graphene, its production and demand potential.”

  • EV uncertainty dominates discussion at Graphite Conference – Part 2

    This is the second of a two-part post by American Resources Expert Simon Moores and his Industrial Minerals colleague, Andy Miller. Read Part One here.

    2013 rebound after poor year

    2012 has been a poor year for graphite demand. Trading activity has been sapped out of the industry since September with little sign of return until the New Year.

    The conference heard that Chinese production is predicted to have fallen by around 4% in 2012 primarily due to slowing construction markets around the world and a reduction in the need for steel and refractories.

    China is also pushing to regulate its graphite industry – a dated and fragmented industry – with a blanket ban on new graphite processing plants in Shandong, a major producing province.

    The Chinese government is eager to limit lower value exports in favour of higher value products. In the context of graphite, at present it ships raw material to Japan or South Korea to be made into battery anodes and batteries which it buys back and a premium rate.

    This situation strengthens the argument for new mines outside of China and supply diversity is high on the agenda for the graphite industry.

    These factors alongside an anticipated rise in demand have encouraged market entry, however Stephen Riddle, CEO of Asbury Carbons, has urged the industry to learn from the mistakes of its past and avoid flooding the market with supply.

    This was seen in the early 1990s, when a string of new graphite mines went into production before promptly going out of business due the emergence of low cost Chinese production and shortfalls in anticipated demand. This caused production to nearly half between 1990 and 1995, and by the early 2000s all but one of five new mines went bankrupt.

    Natural Graphite end markets in 2012

    Source: The Natural Graphite Report 2012, Industrial Minerals Research
    Industrial Minerals Data

    Industrial Minerals Data is a new service providing detailed prices and analysis the graphite and fluorspar industries launching January 2012.

    Simon Moores, Manager, Industrial Minerals Data – smoores@indmin.com
    Andy Miller, Junior Analyst, Industrial Minerals Data – amiller@indmin.com

    The Natural Graphite Report 2012

    Launched in October 2012, The Natural Graphite Report is an extensive market study focusing solely on natural flake, vein and amorphous graphite supply, demand and pricing.

    Data, analysis and forecast for the next five years

    • New, original data from Industrial Minerals
    • Unique country supply reviews including: China, Brazil, India, North Korea, and Canada
    • Major demand drivers – Li-ion batteries, refractories, & emerging markets
    • How will prices react? Historical analysis and forecast
    • Demand destruction risks
    • Critique of the graphene revolution

    For more information click here.

  • EV uncertainty dominates discussion at Graphite Conference – Part 1

    This is the first of a two-part post by American Resources Expert Simon Moores and his Industrial Minerals colleague, Andy Miller. Check back tomorrow for Part Two. The future for electric vehicle (EV) batteries dominated discussion at Industrial Minerals 2nd Graphite Conference in London last week, despite being only the fourth largest market for the [...]
  • American Resources experts to speak at international graphite conference

    American Resources Principal Daniel McGroarty will speak alongside fellow American Resources expert and Manager for Industrial Minerals Data, Simon Moores, at Industrial Minerals’ 2nd Graphite Conference 2012 in early December. In light of its traditional uses, its importance for the new Li-ion technology, and the ostensibly endless potential applications for the “new super material graphene,” [...]
  • “The New Black”? New study examines graphite’s potential

    Graphite’s uses have long been diverse, but, according to the experts at Industrial Minerals Data, the “emergence of the Li-ion battery era” – with Li-ion technology being key to our everyday portable electronic gadgets – has the “potential to turn the industry on its head.” Coupled with the ostensibly endless potential applications for the “new [...]
  • China Opens Rare Earth Trading Platform

    News of China opening its first rare earths spot trading platform has reached us via IndustrialMinerals (IndMin), the London-based publishing and research house focusing on non-metallic minerals pricing and business information, and intellectual home for Simon Moores, the latest addition to the American Resources expert panel. Here’s how IndMin’s Laura Syrett breaks down the news [...]
  • American Resources panel of experts continues to grow

    We’re excited to announce the latest addition to the American Resources panel of issue experts. Simon Moores is manager of the data department at London-based publishing and research house, Industrial Minerals (indmin.com), the world’s leading source for non-metallic minerals pricing and business information. His areas of expertise include global supply and demand issues for strategic [...]
  • Smuggled Metals and Surety of Supply

    For some time now, quiet talk in the corners of metals conferences has turned to the question of Chinese metals smuggling, with the rare earths as Exhibit A. How extensive is REE smuggling? Simon Moores of Industrial Minerals, writing from the Industrial Minerals Congress & Exhibition (IM21) in Budapest, Hungary reports that: “Western consumers of [...]