North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Author photo

By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Graphite One reports resource growth

North of 60 Mining News - March 13, 2023


Last updated 3/14/2023 at 6:05pm

Lights paint large Graphite Creek camp tents with an orange hue during dusk.

Graphite One Inc.

A colorful Alaska west coast sunset paints the backdrop for the expanded Graphite Creek exploration camp in western Alaska.

Updated resource sets stage for next level of expansion at largest graphite deposit in the US.

With only 2,150 meters of drilling carried out during 2022, Graphite One Inc. expanded the quantity of graphite contained within the measured and indicated resources at its Graphite Creek deposit in western Alaska by 13%.

Located about 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of the legendary gold mining town of Nome, Graphite Creek now hosts 37.6 million metric tons of measured and indicated resources averaging 5.15% (1.9 million metric tons) graphite. This marks a 15.5% increase in measured and indicated resource tonnage and a 13.1% more contained graphite.

This growth primarily comes from upgrading inferred resources to the higher confidence measured and indicated categories.

This leaves 243.7 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 5.14% (12.3 million metric tons) graphite still available for upgrade.

And the inferred resource does not include results from 22GC079, a hole that cut 58 meters averaging 4.18% graphite about 2,100 meters southwest of the nearest hole drilled at Graphite Creek. While this hole was too far away to be included in the resource, it provides further evidence of the world-class graphite deposit waiting to be delineated at Graphite Creek.

This potential was highlighted in a recent U.S. Geological Survey report titled Insights into the Metamorphic History and Origin of Flake Graphite Mineralization at the Graphite Creek Graphite Deposit, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA."

"The Graphite Creek graphite deposit, located in the Kigluaik Mountains 60 km north of Nome on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, is the largest known flake graphite resource in the USA and is among the largest in the world," USGS penned in its report.

This world-class deposit has the potential to be a major domestic source of graphite, the single largest ingredient in the lithium batteries powering electric vehicles and a mineral for which the U.S. is 100% reliant on imports for its supply.

"We've been very consistent about the potential we see in Graphite Creek," said Graphite One President and CEO Anthony Huston. "The recognition by USGS coupled with this increase in our measured and indicated resources and the fact that we have explored only 26% of our graphite anomaly underscores that Graphite Creek is truly a generational resource."

Bigger Graphite Creek plans

The upgraded resource estimate for Graphite Creek and the growth potential underscored by hole 22GC079 sets the stage for resource expansion drilling aimed at closer matching this potential domestic graphite supply with the rocketing demand for this lithium battery material.

A 2022 prefeasibility study for Graphite Creek envisioned a mine that would produce an average of 51,813 metric tons of graphite concentrate per year and a processing and recycling facility in Washington that would upgrade the concentrates into 49,600 metric tons of spherical coated graphite that serves as the anode material in lithium-ion batteries and 25,400 metric tons of other advanced graphite products per year.

The growing demand for battery-grade graphite, however, has the company considering larger operations.

Graphite Creek geophysics map with location of holes drilled so far.

Graphite One Inc.

The current measured and indicated resource only accounts for a little over one kilometer (0.6 miles) of the more than 16 kilometers (10 miles) of graphite outlined with drilling, mapping, and geophysics at Graphite Creek.

In a 2022 report, S&P Global Platts forecasts that more than 5 million metric tons of graphite per year will be needed for EVs alone by 2030.

This compares to roughly 1.3 million metric tons of graphite mined globally during 2022, according to the latest USGS figures.

This means that global graphite production must more than triple in eight years just to meet automaker demand.

Given the growing need for a domestic supply of the graphite needed to achieve North America's EV ambitions, Graphite One is now focused on building enough measured and indicated resources to support larger operations in Alaska and Washington.

"(T)he continued expansion of our Graphite Creek resource will support our plan to quadruple the annual production from our PFS study," said Graphite One Senior Vice President of Mining Mike Schaffner.

Toward this goal, Graphite One plans to complete a total of 20,000 meters of drilling in 2023 and 2024, subject to financing.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 15 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (907) 726-1095


Reader Comments(0)


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Mining News
Metal Tech News

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023