Reflex Advanced Materials Corp. (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF) is a strategic minerals company focused on locating and developing economic properties in the strategic metals and advanced materials space. The company aims to improve domestic specialty mineral infrastructure efficiencies to meet surging national demand from North American manufacturers, effectively positioning itself as one of the only North American suppliers of high purity natural graphite for hi-tech applications.
Reflex Advanced Materials is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its project portfolio includes the Ruby Graphite Deposit in Montana and the ZigZag Lithium Property in Ontario.
Ruby Graphite Project
Located in a mining-friendly jurisdiction in southwest Montana, the Ruby Graphite Deposit is a low cost, rapid re-entry opportunity that produced roughly 2,400 tons of graphite from 1902 to 1948. Reflex Advanced Materials holds mining rights for 755 hectares at the Ruby Graphite Project, with 96 federal lode mining claims. Recent samples assay at 95.8% to 98.4% total carbon.
The site is notable as the only combined U.S. graphite flake and vein graphite source. Vein graphite is ideal for energy storage applications, because it requires fewer steps to achieve purity than synthetic alternatives and is therefore far less environmentally damaging. This is expected to play a key role in the project’s development as demand for electric vehicles continues to surge.
In March 2023, the company announced its submittal of permit applications to the Bureau of Land Management in respect of its exploration of the Ruby Graphite Project. Its initial drill program, expected to take place in the summer of 2023, includes plans for 3,500 total meters of drilling, cored to an average depth of 130 meters. The targets for this drill program have been identified using historical data from original mine operations and data gathered for the initial 43-101 technical report on the project, dated January 31, 2023.
ZigZag Lithium Property
Located in the Thunder Bay Mining Division of Ontario, the ZigZag Lithium Property consists of eight mining claims spanning roughly 2,710 hectares. Mineralization at the property, most notably lithium, is based in pegmatite dikes and concentrated in spodumene crystals, which are consistent throughout the entire unit.
Spodumene is readily observable in outcrops and in drill cores, with crystal sizes ranging from 3-15cm, on average.
Reflex Advanced Materials and American Energy Technologies Company Metallurgical Partnership
Reflex Advanced Materials has entered into a material processing agreement with American Energy Technologies Co., which is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, to conduct metallurgical testwork with the goal of creating a technical support data package for Reflex’s target customer base, U.S. Federal agencies and qualification programs with hi-tech customers in the battery and battery storage business.
The resulting coated, spherionized, purified graphite (CSPG) material that is expected to be created from the aforementioned tests will be used to provide potential customers of CSPG with samples so that they can begin the material qualification process.
Graphite is an ideal battery anode and has dominated the market since the proliferation of lithium-ion batteries. Despite this demand, there is currently no significant production of lithium-ion battery anode material in North America.
Instead, most graphite sold in North America today is sourced from Chinese producers. U.S. President Joe Biden highlighted this sourcing disparity in a 2022 address:
“The United Stated depends on unreliable foreign sources for many of the strategic and critical materials necessary for the clean energy transition – such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese for large-capacity batteries,” he said. “Demand for such materials is projected to increase exponentially as the world transitions to a clean energy economy.”
The U.S. Department of Energy is in the process of awarding $2.8 billion to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and combat this foreign dependency.
Processing graphite domestically in the U.S. is expected to provide Reflex Advanced Materials a competitive advantage as manufacturers begin to seek out American supply in the face of increased diplomatic tension. This is critical, as a rise in anode demand is expected to fuel a shortage of 8 million tonnes of graphite by 2040. World Bank Group projects 494% growth in total graphite demand by 2050.
Paul Gorman is the CEO and a Director of Reflex Advanced Materials. He brings to the company over 25 years of experience in junior mining finance, public listings, viability assessment and operational rationalization. For 18 years, Mr. Gorman served as president and managing partner of Riverbank Capital, where he played an instrumental role in raising more than $85 million for small-cap companies. In 2008, he funded Industrial Minerals Inc. (later Northern Graphite) and served in an advisory role for four other graphite companies, contributing significantly to the revitalization of the junior graphite space in North America. Mr. Gorman founded Mega Graphite Inc. in 2009 and has served as chief executive for three other companies.
Tasheel Jeerh, CPA, is the company’s CFO. He is a finance and accounting professional with over a decade of experience spanning both public and private sectors. Prior to joining Reflex Advanced Materials, Mr. Jeerh played a pivotal role in the growth of a private upstream oil and gas firm, dealing with over $2 billion in M&A activity and $1 billion in financing activities. He gained his designation at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he worked as a manager in the assurance practice.
Greg Bell is Project Manager for Reflex Advanced Materials. He is a multi-disciplined engineering management professional with more than 40 years of experience in the natural resources sector. Mr. Bell has successfully built and managed several start-up operations in various capacities. He has been active in graphite and lithium exploration for the past seven years.
Christopher W. Hill leads the company’s Corporate Development initiatives. He is an investor and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in the capital markets. Mr. Hill began his career as an investment advisor and then began to consult and advise private companies on their paths to becoming publicly traded. He specializes in corporate development and strategic financing utilizing his large network in the capital markets.
- Reflex Advanced Materials has begun the qualification process and has relationships with more than 25 prospective North American customers, putting it years ahead of the competition in the lengthy graphite sales cycle.
- The company has a planned summer 2023 drill program at the Ruby Graphite project in Montana.
- Reflex Advanced Materials has entered a metallurgical partnership with AETC to create a technical data sheet on Ruby Graphite material.
- The company has executed two critical product development and material research partnerships in an effort to diversify risk and improve margins.
- The U.S. Department of Energy is in the process of awarding $2.8 billion to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.
- A rise in anode demand is expected to fuel a shortage of 8 million tonnes by 2040, with World Bank Group projecting 494% growth in graphite demand by 2050.