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  6.  | BSNC Invests $2M into Graphite One

BSNC Invests $2M into Graphite One

Sep 6, 2023 | Alaska Native, Mining, News

Capacity at the Graphite Creek camp expanded in 2022 from twenty-four to sixty workers. Once production begins, the mine is expected to employ up to 200 workers year-round.

Graphite One

A proposed graphite mine near Nome is getting financial backing from the region’s Alaska Native corporation. The board of directors of Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) approved a $2 million investment in the mine’s developer, Graphite One, with an option of $8 million more.

Unanimous Support

Graphite One will use the money to continue pre-development work and a feasibility study on the Graphite Creek project. The company is looking at a graphite deposit north of Nome to process into anode materials primarily for the lithium‐ion electric vehicle battery market.

“This is not just an investment in Graphite One; it is a long-term investment in our region. We at BSNC have watched for years as Graphite One has worked to advance the Graphite Creek project and become a friendly neighbor in the region,” says BSNC Interim President and CEO Dan Graham. “Graphite One has told us of its intent to develop an environmentally responsible project and provide an exciting economic opportunity for the region that hopefully will play a crucial role in the nation’s transition to a clean energy future. This is at the heart of our board’s unanimous support of the project.”

The investment agreement also provides that Graphite One and BSNC will jointly establish an advisory board with the intent to foster communication of Graphite One’s activities and development details, utilize the local expertise of BSNC, and provide a way for voices of local stakeholders to be heard. The agreement comes with the option for BSNC to invest up to a further $8 million in Graphite One in the future.

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In July, the US Department of Defense awarded Graphite One a $37.5 million grant to help fund completion of a feasibility study, and BSNC’s investment furthers that objective. Graphite One has announced that it intends to make a production decision upon the completion of a feasibility study.

BSNC Board Chair Cindy Massie says, “After careful review and many long discussions, we believe Graphite One shares our values of land stewardship and providing benefits to the region. Our investment in Graphite One is about providing opportunities for BSNC shareholders and being proactive about the future of our region.”

There are presently no active graphite mines in the US and, according to the US Geological Survey, the Graphite Creek deposit is the largest known graphite resource in the country.

The carbon mineral would be processed into concentrate at an adjacent processing plant and then sent to Graphite One’s proposed manufacturing plant in Washington.

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Making History

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The track of oil and gas development in Alaska shows the footprints of bold companies and hard-working individuals who shaped the industry in the past and continue to innovate today. The May 2024 issue of Alaska Business explores that history while looking forward to new product development, the energy transition for the fishing fleet, and the ethics of AI tools in business.

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