The Erongo (Area 51) Graphite Project is located in Namibia, approximately 275km northwest of the capital Windhoek.
The company has not made any final decision on its strategy for the Project, pending further review and considering funding opportunities.
Graphite is mainly used in the steel and automotive industries. The industrialisation of China, India and other emerging economies has seen demand for graphite rise to service these industries. Going forward, it is new applications that have the potential to significantly increase demand for graphite. The main one of these is lithium-ion batteries which is growing in consumer electronics and will increase rapidly with the uptake of hybrid and other electric vehicles. Although lithium receives the most attention in this sector, a lithium-ion battery requires approximately 20 times the amount of graphite than lithium. Other new applications for graphite include fuel cells and nuclear power.
China produces approximately 70% of the world’s graphite but is experiencing slowing growth and reserve depletion. Consequently tariffs have been fixed on graphite exports in order to help conserve local supplies. There is currently little graphite supplied outside of China and hence the European Union and the USA have both named graphite a supply critical mineral.