TORONTO, CANADA--(Marketwired - Sept. 7, 2016) - Alabama Graphite Corp. ("AGC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:ALP)(OTCQX:ABGPF)(FRANKFURT:1AG) is very pleased to announce that it has manufactured and shipped samples of two specifications of its coated spherical graphite ("CSPG") to a long-established, U.S.-based leader in Lithium-ion ("Li-ion") battery production for numerous and varied military applications for the United States Department of Defense ("DoD"). Additionally, AGC announces that it has shipped a CSPG sample to a subsidiary of Paris-based multi-national energy conglomerate, Total S.A. ("Total"). The names of the DoD battery manufacturer and Total subsidiary are not being disclosed due to reasons of commercial confidentiality.
The Company conveyed fine- and coarse-sized CSPG made from its Coosa Graphite Project material - located in Coosa County, Alabama, USA - to the DoD contractor, which is located within a day's drive from AGC's offices in Sylacauga, Alabama. The fine CSPG has been designed with the intent of eventually being used for power-based applications, namely rechargeable batteries for soldiers. The coarse CSPG has been designed with the intent of eventually being utilized for energy-based applications, such as micro-grid energy storage for forward deployed soldiers. All requisite downstream secondary processing to manufacture these test samples of AGC's Coosa CSPG was conducted in the United States of America.
This large-scale, specialty advanced Li-ion battery manufacturer was awarded a USD$22,000,000 DoD contract to manufacture Li-ion batteries - including battery cells, which are a critical element in energy-dependent weaponry - in the United States. For years, the U.S. government has relied on other countries for the production of its Li-ion cells. The DoD has demonstrated its intent to address security of supply as it pertains to American Li-ion battery and cell production by investing to guarantee domestic Li-ion capacity, and specifically sourcing American input materials. The DoD's significant investment is meant to ensure the affordable production of critical items deemed essential for national defense and was funded under the DoD's Lithium-ion Battery for Military Applications ("LIMA") project.
This brings the current number of DoD battery manufacturers that have received AGC's American-sourced and manufactured battery graphite samples to three (please refer to the Company's June 23, 2016 and August 15, 2016 announcements, ('Alabama Graphite Corp. Announces Shipment of American Sourced and Manufactured CSPG Samples to United States Department of Defense (DoD) Lithium-ion Battery Solutions Provider' and 'Alabama Graphite Corp. Announces Multi-Kilogram Shipment of American Sourced and Manufactured Samples to United States Department of Defense (DoD) Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturer' respectively.). Per the Company's July 18, 2016 announcement ('Alabama Graphite Corp. Announces the Execution of Six Non-Disclosure Agreements with U.S Department of Defense Lithium-ion Battery Solution Providers for Coated Spherical Graphite (CSPG) Samples'), multiple other DoD lithium battery manufacturers have requested secondary-processed battery graphite evaluation samples and AGC is diligently working to produce the requested specifications.
The Total subsidiary company is located in France and will evaluate AGC's 20-micron CSPG for Li-ion batteries.
AGC President, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Director, Donald Baxter stated, "AGC is very pleased to have again manufactured CSPG samples to end users' requested specifications. We have shipped CSPG samples to another major DoD Li-ion battery manufacturer, as well as to a multi-billion-dollar global subsidiary of energy giant Total.
"We believe that our DoD-focussed business strategy addresses an issue critical to U.S. national defense - manufacturing Li-ion battery cells in the United States with American-sourced and manufactured input materials," said Mr. Baxter. "The DoD battery manufacturers that we are in discussions with certainly appreciate that our CSPG is made in America, but they seem far more interested in the fact that our battery graphite is sourced in the United States. It is our intent that one day in the not-too-distant future, our graphite from the great state of Alabama will help power the critical-application batteries that will save lives and protect American soldiers."
The DoD, DoE and other U.S. Federal government departments and agencies encourage their contractors and suppliers to source their input materials from within the USA, whenever and wherever possible. Additionally, provisions of the Buy American Act (the "Act") and other legislation may afford AGC a potential competitive advantage when engaging with these entities. With certain exceptions, such legislation requires that all goods for public use - articles, materials, or supplies - must be produced in the USA, and manufactured items must be manufactured in the USA from U.S. materials. Many states and municipalities include similar geographic production requirements in their procurement legislation. Note, in certain government procurements, the Act's requirement purchase may be waived if the domestic product is 50% or more expensive than an identical foreign-sourced product, if the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, or if doing so is in the public interest. However, it is important to be aware that any legislation may be subject to change over time. For example, potential changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Act itself, could level the playing field for non-U.S. government/DoD procurements, and the Company and its business plan and prospects are always at risk of adverse changes in any applicable legislation. Given the foregoing, if, following the completion of a Feasibility Study (which has not yet been commenced), AGC is able to advance the Coosa Graphite Project into production, the resulting graphite would be sourced from within the contiguous United States and the Company may have a potential competitive advantage over other producers of value-added graphite materials sourced from other countries, regardless of whether said materials were processed and/or manufactured in the U.S.
Note: AGC completed its Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA") for the Coosa Graphite Project on November 27, 2015. A PEA is not a Feasibility Study. The PEA is preliminary in nature, that it includes Inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the PEA based on these mineral resources will be realized. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
At this time, no further deal terms have been reached, nor has AGC entered into any letters of intent, offtake agreements, supply or customer agreements or any other form of definitive agreements with these battery manufacturers. As the Company's discussions remain at a preliminary stage only, there can be no assurance or guarantee that the Company will enter into a binding agreement.
AGC will continue to update shareholders and the market in a timely fashion of further material developments with respect to this and other potential American-based end users, as we are able to disclose. Please note, certain potential end users preclude the Company from announcing any aspect of its relationship and activities, ranging from the execution of an NDA to the shipment(s) of sample material(s).
For more information about AGC's secondary processing to produce its CSPG, please refer to the independent report, "Alabama Graphite's Coated Spherical Purified Graphite for the Lithium-ion Battery Industry," prepared by Dr. Gareth P. Hatch, CEng, FIMMM, FIET, Founding Principal of Technology Metals Research, LLC, and Independent Director of the Company.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of ALABAMA GRAPHITE CORP.
Donald K. D. Baxter, P.Eng.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Donald K. D. Baxter, P.Eng., President, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Alabama Graphite Corp., is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 guidelines, and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.
About Alabama Graphite Corp.
Alabama Graphite Corp. is a Canadian-based flake graphite exploration and development company as well as an aspiring battery materials production and technology company. The Company operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, Alabama Graphite Company Inc. (a company registered in the state of Alabama). With an advancing flake graphite project in the United States of America, Alabama Graphite Corp intends to become a reliable, long-term U.S. supplier of specialty high-purity graphite products. A highly experienced team leads the Company with more than 100 years of combined graphite mining, graphite processing, specialty graphite products and applications, and graphite sales experience. Alabama Graphite Corp. is focused on the exploration and development of its flagship Coosa Graphite Project in Coosa County, Alabama, and its Bama Mine Project in Chilton County, Alabama as well the research and development of its proprietary manufacturing and technological processing process of battery materials.
Alabama Graphite Corp. holds a 100% interest in the mineral rights for these two U.S.-based graphite projects, which are both located on private land. The two projects encompass more than 43,000 acres and are located in a geopolitically stable, mining-friendly jurisdiction with significant historical production of crystalline flake graphite in the flake graphite belt of central Alabama, also known as the Alabama Graphite Belt (source: U.S. Bureau of Mines). A significant portion of the Alabama deposits are characterized by graphite-bearing material that is oxidized and has been weathered into extremely soft rock. Both projects have infrastructure in place, are within close proximity to major highways, rail, power and water, and are approximately three hours (by truck or train) to the Port of Mobile, the Alabama Port Authority's deep-seawater port and the ninth largest port by tonnage in the United States (source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/USACE). The state of Alabama's hospitable climate allows for year-round mining operations and the world's largest marble quarry (which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in Sylacauga, Alabama), is located within a 30-minute drive of the Coosa Graphite Project.
On November 30, 2015, Alabama Graphite Corp. announced the results of PEA for the Coosa Graphite Project, indicating a potentially low-cost project with potential positive economics. Please refer to the Company's technical report titled "Alabama Graphite Corp. Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the Coosa graphite Project, Alabama, USA" dated November 27, 2015, prepared by independent engineering firms AGP Mining Consultants Inc. and Metal Mining Consultants Inc., and filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Note: a preliminary economic assessment is preliminary in nature, it includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.
* Inferred Mineral Resources represent material that is considered too speculative to be included in economic evaluations. Additional trenching and/or drilling will be required to convert Inferred Mineral Resources to Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no guarantee that all or any part of the Mineral Resource will be converted into a Mineral Reserve.
For further information and updates on the Company or to sign up for Alabama Graphite Corp. News, please visit www.alabamagraphite.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
This press release contains forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities laws ("forward-looking statements"), which may include, without limitation, statements with respect to any potential relationships between the Company and any end users and/or the DoD. The forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of management and reflect Alabama Graphite Corp.'s current expectations. When used in this press release, the words "estimate", "project", "belief", "anticipate", "intend", "expect", "plan", "predict", "may" or "should" and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current view of Alabama Graphite Corp. with respect to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements.
By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among other things, the interpretation and actual results of current exploration activities; changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices of graphite; possible variations in grade or recovery rates; failure of equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; the failure of contracted parties to perform; labor disputes and other risks of the mining industry; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing or in the completion of exploration, as well as those factors disclosed in the Company's publicly filed documents. Forward-looking statements are also based on a number of assumptions, including that contracted parties provide goods and/or services on the agreed timeframes, that equipment necessary for exploration is available as scheduled and does not incur unforeseen breakdowns, that no labor shortages or delays are incurred, that plant and equipment function as specified, that no unusual geological or technical problems occur, and that laboratory and other related services are available and perform as contracted. Forward-looking statements are made based on management's beliefs, estimates and opinions on the date that statements are made and Alabama Graphite Corp. undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements (unless required by law) if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. Alabama Graphite Corp. cautions that the foregoing list of material factors and assumptions are not exhaustive. When relying on Alabama Graphite Corp. forward-looking statements to make decisions, investors and others should carefully consider the foregoing factors and assumptions and other uncertainties and potential events.
Alabama Graphite Corp. has also assumed that the material factors and assumptions will not cause any forward-looking statements to differ materially from actual results or events. However, the list of these factors and assumptions is not exhaustive and is subject to change and there can be no assurance that such assumptions will reflect the actual outcome of such items or factors.
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