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Graphite One Announces Revised Cost-Share Agreement

Mike Schaffner, Senior Vice President of Mining for Graphite One, responds to a question from a community member at a meeting in April 2024. Ben Townsend photo.

Graphite One Inc. has announced a revised cost-share agreement with the Department of Defense (DoD) to accelerate the completion of its feasibility study for a graphite mine project 35 miles north of Nome. The new agreement finalized on May 17 increases the DoD’s share of expenditures from 50% to 75%. 

The Graphite Creek deposit is recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey as the largest graphite deposit in the U.S. Through the project the DoD aims to reduce dependence on imported graphite, primarily sourced from China.

Graphite One CEO Anthony Huston said in a press release that the amended investment “demonstrates the momentum Graphite One is building.”

“We welcome the support of the Department of Defense as we continue our efforts to build a U.S. industrial capacity that serves the renewable energy transition, technology development, and national security,” Huston said. 

The DoD will now contribute up to $37.3 million to Graphite One to cover expenses related to completing the feasibility study. The study is expected to cost a total of $75 million and conclude by the end of this year.

Feasibility studies are conducted by mining companies to evaluate the viability of a site before any mining operations begin. Their findings will inform permit applications, equipment and infrastructure needs, and economic outcomes. 

Following permit approvals construction of the mine is slated to begin in 2027, with operations expected by 2029. Graphite from Alaska will be transported to a new facility in Niles, Ohio, for refinement into graphite anodes, a crucial component in lithium-ion batteries used in phones, electric vehicles, and more.

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