Graphite One Resources, a tiny Vancouver based junior, has commenced permitting to mine graphite north of Nome, Alaska.
The Graphite Creek project is located 40 miles north of Nome. Graphite Creek has a 43-101 inferred resource of 164.5Mt, with 8.6 M tons near the surface. There are no graphite mines in the United States.
The estimated cost of a mine would be $120-150 M. The production rate of 20,000 tons would mean a 50 year mine life. The company expects the permitting phase to last to the end of 2015.
Large flake graphite, like 40% found in this deposit sells for $1,400-1,500 per ton.
Graphite (a form of carbon) is used as a lubricant, in lithium batteries, in steel/refractories and in nuclear reactors. Consumption has doubled since 2000 to 1.2M mt.
Graphite One Resources Inc. trades on the TSX (ticker GPH) at $0.14 with a market cap of $16M.
This project looks promising but is likely 5 years away from development. The company still needs to collect environmental base line data. A feasibility study is needed. Mining graphite is easier than metals in that the substance is benign to the environment.