Yesterday, Graphite One Resources, Inc. (Graphite One) commented on the release of a White House/US Department of Defense (DoD) report offering a comprehensive review of the US Defense Industrial Base, which identifies “almost 300 vulnerabilities, ranging from dependencies on foreign manufacturers” to “reliance on a single source of critical equipment or material.”
“The White House report makes a strong case for the strategic importance of minerals like graphite to the US defense industrial base, and for the broader advanced manufacturing sector,” said Anthony Huston, CEO of Graphite One Resources, Inc.
“With the US 100% import-dependent for its natural graphite supply, and demand projections showing sharply increased graphite needs, we see the potential for our Graphite Creek project to be a key component in the materials supply chain essential to the high-tech sector, renewable energy and national security/defense applications.” Department of Defense Action Plan
The report, ‘Assessing And Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States’, was completed pursuant to a Presidential Executive Order issued on 21 July 2017, The report directs the US Secretary of Defense to “provide the President with a set of specific actions to address any identified risks and gaps” in the Defense Industrial Base supply chain.
To that end, the report directs the Pentagon to take actions that include:
“Expanding direct investment in the lower tier of the industrial base through DoD’s Defense Production Act Title III, Manufacturing Technology, and Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment programs to address critical bottlenecks, support fragile suppliers, and mitigate single points-of-failure.
“Diversifying away from complete dependency on sources of supply in politically unstable countries who may cut off US access; diversification strategies may include reengineering, expanded use of the National Defense Stockpile programme, or qualification of new suppliers.”
“The report’s recommendation of direct investment in companies developing domestic sources of strategic and critical materials is a welcome sign,” commented Huston.
“Given that graphite is essential to so many battery applications and energy storage systems required by the defense sector and commercial sectors alike.”
Graphite as a critical material
According to the report, “China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to US national security,” including a “growing number of both widely used and specialised metals, alloys and other materials.”
The last unclassified National Defense Stockpile Requirements report – completed by the Department of Defense for the US House and Senate Armed Services Committees – projects an 83 000 t shortfall for graphite in one of its main crisis scenarios.
According to the Pentagon, the new Defense Industrial Base report (Pentagon report) is a “whole-of-government effort to assess risk, identify impacts, and propose recommendations in support of a healthy manufacturing and defense industrial base – a critical aspect of economic and national security,” which involved the White House, the Department of Defense, six other cabinet departments (Commerce, Labor, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, and Health and Human Services) as well as the Office of Management and Budget and intelligence agencies.
The Pentagon report comes as Graphite One winds up its 2018 field programme, a key step in the company’s ongoing field work in support of the company’s Graphite Creek deposit pre-feasibility study. The 2018 field programme completed continued discussions with the communities closest to the project; approximately 800 m of diamond core drilling to tighten drill spacing within the identified mineral resource; collection of core samples to be used for additional metallurgical test work; assessment of various alternative project access routes; and reconnaissance level fish and wildlife surveys. The Graphite Creek deposit, near Nome (Alaska), is the US’s largest known flake graphite deposit.
Read the article online at: https://www.globalminingreview.com/finance-business/11102018/graphite-one-responds-to-white-house-report-highlighting-importance-of-graphite-to-us-defense/