Next Graphite, Inc. is an exploration development stage company targeting the growing global graphite production industry with the Company's 96,000-acre African-based Aukam Graphite Project. Aukam contains a special form of graphite known as “lump” or vein graphite. This high-end, clean graphite with its low sulphur content is highly sought after for important industrial applications, and worldwide supply is constrained since it is available in only a few locations worldwide, including our Aukam site in Namibia.
The Company anticipates revenue from our existing inventory of unprocessed graphite to commence in the third quarter of 2016, based on a recent Letter of Intent to initially purchase 5,000 tonnes of graphite. This sale of unprocessed graphite from our site will precede the Company going into production of its high-grade, processed lump graphite in 2017-18. The stage was set for this on-site production when the Company entered into a joint venture agreement in 2015 with a seasoned mining partner committed to building and paying for a graphite processing circuit facility at Aukam. Construction is scheduled to commence the first quarter 2017. Production of high-grade processed graphite could begin as early as the end of 2017.
The Aukam Graphite Mine was established in 1940 in the current Republic of Namibia, and has produced USD $30 million of graphite at today's prices. The Aukam property is estimated to still contain a significant amount of high-grade, vein type graphitic material. In 2014-2015 third party research laboratories validated the high quality of our on-site samples and an outside geologist report stated there are “an estimated 4 million tonnes of reserve of high-grade graphite from hydrothermal source” at Aukam. The current market value of the processed vein graphite samples at Aukam is approximately $2,800 - $3,500 per tonne.
The global graphite market was valued at $15.06 billion in 2014 and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% during the period 2015 - 2020. Graphite demand is being driven by the development of new markets for clean and efficient energy alternatives, smart grid infrastructure and military capabilities. The Company’s lump graphite is a preferred source of graphite for many end users. It has unique characteristics suitable for use in 20 important value-added applications, particularly electric foils. It is also used in crucibles, brake pads, electrodes, refractories, lubricants, electric car lithium ion batteries, and nuclear reactors.