- The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act is set to drive a boom in the U.S. electric vehicle industry
- Under the scheme, vehicles which source at least 40% of their components from North America or U.S. trade partners can be eligible for tax credits of up to $7,500
- Most of the world’s graphite current comes from North-Eastern China with only one functioning natural graphite mine within North America at present
- Reflex Advanced Material are working towards developing two potential graphite mining sites within North America, with the goal of supplying the burgeoning U.S. EV battery supply chain
On the outskirts of the town of Jidong in North-eastern China, tiny particles of graphite dust sparkle in the night-time sky (https://ibn.fm/CHTZn). Located along the border separating the nation from Russia’s Siberian territory, the Heilongjiang Province is the source of much of the world’s naturally mined graphene – a key element used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. Graphite today accounts for nearly 25 to 28 percent of an EV battery’s total components, by far the largest element contained within the battery in terms of both volume and mass. Under the recently passed U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”), customers may be able to avail themselves of subsidies designed to encourage the purchase of environmentally friendly electric vehicles. Nevertheless, a key constraint lays within the vehicle’s source of origin. Under the IRA, a vehicle may only be eligible for tax credits if it were to source at least “40% of critical mineral and battery” components from North America or a US free trade partner by 2024, a threshold which is set to soar to 80% by the end of 2026 (https://ibn.fm/YivI8).
Occupying a central position in the graphite chain today is BTR, the world’s largest supplier of natural graphite material for lithium-ion batteries. The Chinese company, which reportedly serves about 75 percent of the market demand for natural graphite material for batteries, sells to the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries, including Samsung SDI, LG Chem and Panasonic, among various others. Meanwhile, the U.S. does not mine natural graphite, opting rather to make use of synthetic graphite – a material whose fossil fuel-intensive production process can result in emissions 62% to 89% higher than that of natural graphite (https://ibn.fm/T9GsW).
Reflex Advanced Materials (CSE: RFLX) (OTCQB: RFLXF), a British Columbia-based strategic minerals company focused on locating and developing economic properties within the advanced materials space, has sought to meet the surging demand for natural graphite from the North American electric vehicle supply chain. The company boasts a vast project portfolio, which includes the Ruby Graphite Deposit, a graphite site in southwest Montana which produced upwards of 2,400 tons of graphite between 1902 and 1948, as well as the Ontario-based ZigZag Lithium Property, encompassing eight mining claims across 2,710 hectares.
With the battery supply chain within the U.S. rapidly ramping up – Bank of America noted that federal incentives contained within the Inflation Reduction Act had driven close to $52 billion in new investment towards the creation of 17 EV battery production facilities over the past year (https://ibn.fm/N8pdY) – sourcing domestically mined natural graphene has increasingly emerged as a key priority for the EV industry. In fact, a recent report by the World Bank revealed that a rise in anode demand was expected to fuel a graphite shortage of 8 million tonnes by 2040.
With an upcoming planned drill program set to take place during summer 2023 at the Ruby Graphite project as well as boasting established relationships with over 25 key North American customers, Reflex Advanced Materials find itself in an ideal position to capitalize on the upcoming IRC-fuelled EV boom in the U.S. Moreover, and through the company’s potential positioning as one of a mere handful of North American suppliers of high purity natural graphite used within hi-tech applications, Reflex Advanced Materials’ competitive positioning may be here to stay for many years to come.
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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