TORONTO, ON / ACCESSWIRE / November 13, 2023 / Gratomic Inc. ("Gratomic", "GRAT," or the "Company") (TSXV:GRAT)(OTCQX:CBULF)(FSE:CB82) announces an update to its Commercial Partnership and Sales Agreement ("Commercial Partnership") with TM2 Verticals ("TM2") to supply Purified Flake Graphite (PFG) to the alkaline battery sector referred to in the Company's Press Release dated June 15, 2023.
TM2 Verticals, in partnership with Gratomic and Suntech Labs of South Africa, has successfully upgraded Aukam graphite concentrate to the required 96% grade concentrate as part of their large scale pilot plant OEM qualification program to generate bulk samples to send to global alkaline battery producers. Approximately 700 kilograms of minimum 96% grade were produced. Gratomic's stockpiled graphite was tested and processed, achieving 96.8% and 97,1% grade concentrate across multiple tests with an average recovery of 80%+.
This marks an important milestone in the development of the business in general and more specifically, the global alkaline battery market opportunity for Gratomic. The material will be sent to midstream processors in the United States and Japan where it will be converted into PFG after which it will be supplied to a global OEM for Phase 1 battery performance testing. After Phase 1, Gratomic and TM2 will enter Phase 2 of testing which will include supplying more concentrate from the mine in Namibia, to produce 1 million battery cell units as the final stage of qualification with the OEM that is financing the qualification process.
Once the supply chain and the PFG has been qualified, the OEM will enter into a direct purchase agreement with the Commercial Partnership which is currently in advanced discussions for expected timelines, logistics and potential long term offtake agreements subject to final outcomes of the qualification program.
One of the terms of this commercial arrangement with TM2 is that Gratomic will sell its graphite to the commercial partnership for a 50:50 split of the profit after toll processing. As noted previously, this particular arrangement appears to be the first of its kind in the graphite industry for an up-and-coming producer and shows the power of vertical integration and the benefit of early partnerships with agile supply chain parters and global OEMS. TM2 and Gratomic have been working together during the past two years and both agree it is a mutually beneficial arrangement with larger financial upsides for the producer.
"The trajectory that we have previously noted, that over the next 36 months, every major OEM on the planet will be backwards integrating to the mine- securing long term supply and a reliable supply chain remains on target and a key catalyst to our operations. The alkaline battery market represents a huge opportunity with estimated annual sales of $8 billion+, comprising 12 billion+ battery cells sold, requiring more than 14,000 tons of graphite material. By building globally integrated and connected markets, TM2 together with Gratomic will be able to take a piece of this market and positively enhance disrupted alkaline battery supply chains together", says Petur Georgesson, CEO of TM2.
The binding offtake contract with TM2 has been extended by 210 days to provide more time for advanced testing and to secure binding agreements with global OEMS. The contract is valid for five years, and establishes annual quantities for delivery starting at 4,200 tonnes per year and reaching 7,260 tonnes per year.
Arno Brand, President & CEO of Gratomic, says "The partnership with TM2 is steadily advancing towards our common objectives of being ahead of competition in one of the most dynamic high value applications for graphite".
Gratomic wishes to emphasize that no Preliminary Economic Analysis, Preliminary Feasibility Study, or Feasibility Study has been completed to support any level of production. In fact, no mineral resources, let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam property.
The Company is working towards completing a Feasibility Study (FS) on the Aukam Processing Plant. The study, its recommendations, and their subsequent implementation, will provide conclusions and recommendation at a FS level of comfort about scaling-up the existing processing plant to a commercial facility that can produce the desired concentrate grades and production rates.
Gratomic wishes to emphasize that the supply of graphite is conditional on bringing the Aukam Project to production phase, and for any graphite produced meeting certain technical and mineralization requirements.
No mineral resources, let alone mineral reserves demonstrating economic viability and technical feasibility, have been delineated on the Aukam property. The Company is not in a position to demonstrate or disclose any capital and/or operating costs that may be associated with the processing plant until the Feasibility Study is completed.
The Company advises that it has not based its production decision on even the existence of mineral resources, let alone on a Preliminary Feasibility Study or Feasibility Study of mineral reserves, demonstrating economic and technical viability. As a result, there may be an increased uncertainty about achieving any particular level of mineral recovery or the cost of such recovery, including increased risks associated with developing a commercially mineable deposit.
Historically, such projects have a much higher risk of economic and technical failure. There is no guarantee that production will begin as anticipated or at all, or that anticipated production costs will be achieved.
Failure to commence production would have a material adverse impact on the Company's ability to generate revenue and cash flow to fund operations. Failure to achieve the anticipated production costs would have a material adverse impact on the Company's cash flow and future profitability.
Gratomic is a multinational company with projects in Namibia, Brazil, and Canada. The Company is focused on becoming a leading global graphite supplier and aims to secure a strong position in the EV battery supply chain. With the continued development of its flagship Aukam project and further exploration on the Company's Capim Grosso property, Gratomic sets itself apart by seeking out unique top-quality assets around the world. True to its roots, the Company will continue to explore graphite opportunities displaying potential for development.
Large quantities of high-quality vein graphite have been shipped for testing to confirm its viability as an anode material. Gratomic is confident that the test results will provide a unique competitive advantage in its desired target markets. The Company will continue to update the public on the status of these tests and will provide results as soon as they become available.
The Company has formed a collaboration agreement with Forge Nano. With its patented ALD coating, this cooperation with Forge Nano is a key element to support Gratomic's strategies towards the value-added phases of production of graphite for anode applications, namely micronization, spheronization and coating, making Gratomic graphite a preferred choice for use in lithium-ion batteries.
About TM2 Verticals
TM2 Verticals Limited is the physical supply chain arm of Technology Metals Market (TM2), a UK based investment holding focused on the critical metals transition. TM2 has created a global network of supply extending from the mines (upstream) through the smelters, processors and convertors (midstream) and into the global distribution networks of global brands alongside the development of its institutional metals exchange. TM2 manages a portfolio of more than a dozen verticals covering key battery metals such as lithium, graphite, manganese, zinc and nickel.
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Forward Looking Statements:
This news release contains forward-looking statements, which relate to future events or future performance and reflect management's current expectations and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements reflect management's current beliefs and are based on assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company. Investors are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ materially from those expected. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and, except as required under applicable securities legislation, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. All of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements and by those made in our filings with SEDAR in Canada (available at www.sedar.com)
SOURCE: Gratomic Inc.
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