Global production, trade and emerging markets
World production of graphite stood at over 1.01 Mt in 2012. Within the world production landscape, China is by far the leading producer of amorphous graphite and flake graphite while Sri Lanka is the only producer of vein graphite. The other graphite producing countries are, in order: North Korea, Brazil, Canada, India, Russia, Mexico, Ukraine and Norway.
Trade between countries follows a constant trend, with China exporting large volumes to the European, Japanese and American markets made up of countries which produce almost no natural graphite. The countries of the European Union, having already exploited the major part of their graphite resources, depend on producing countries like China. This has led them to put graphite on their list of critical elements necessary for the European industry.
THE UNITED STATES ALSO IMPORTS FROM BRAZIL, MEXICO AND CANADA. CANADA EXPORTS ALMOST ALL OF ITS PRODUCTION TO EUROPEAN MARKETS.
Current production meets demand which is currently growing 5% to 7% annually. Global demand is forecast to double by 2020 with the advent of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and for the storage of electricity produced by solar panels, nuclear ball-bed reactors, computer equipment and cell phones.
MANUFACTURER TESLA WILL NEED MORE THAN 100,000 TONNES OF GRAPHITE PER YEAR, ONCE ITS NEVADA FACTORY HAS COMPLETED CONSTRUCTION AND IN FULL OPERATION.
– Éric Desaulniers, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde Graphite.
AMERICAN MARKET OPPORTUNITIES TO SUPPLY THE LITHIUM-ION BATTERY GIGA-FACTORIES UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Natural graphite demand is estimated in 530 000 tonnes per year until the year 2023.
In the summer 2014, the construction of a battery plant in Nevada by US electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motor inc. raised the expectations of many graphite project developpers in Canada. In May 2015, Asbury Carbons announced the construction of a value-added graphite manufacturing plant in North Carolina. These announcements could indicate an increased interest of American industrialist for this substance during the next decade.
IF THEY WANT TO BE SUPPLIED AS LOCALLY AS POSSIBLE FROM the greenest supplier with the lowest environmental footprint, they will choose a project like ours which i hope will be carbon neutral thanks to our hydroelectricity
– Éric Desaulniers, Nouveau Monde Graphite President and CEO
Prospects for exporting a local ressource
While consolidating the current market, the development of the graphite industry in Quebec could support the growth of industries linked to the manufacture of electric batteries and electrode components for computer equipment and cell phones. Graphite could become an input for the electrification of transport. Specifically, the production of electric batteries requires graphite and lithium. In addition, the electric battery production industry matches well with that of solar pannels since batteries are needed to store electricity harvested from solar energy.
Graphite mining in Quebec began in the Outaouais and Laurentides regions in 1845. The development of the graphite industry in Quebec, beyond the mere possession of this ressource on its territory, feeds the upward linked industries that reap advantages and benefits, creating significant added value that can stimulate our economy.