GreenRoc Mining has a new, responsibly mined source of high-quality graphite to address the critical supply shortage faced by the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) battery market.
GreenRoc Mining is a London-listed development company with big plans for 2023. Having successfully established its flagship Amitsoq Graphite Project in southern Greenland as one of the highest-grade graphite deposits in the world, and arguably the best in Europe, the focus is now on proving its commercial potential and fast-tracking the project to mine development, which will create a new, responsibly mined source of high-quality graphite for the raw-materials-hungry EV battery manufacturers.
Strategically located in Greenland
GreenRoc’s strategic location in Greenland provides a multi-market opportunity to target both European and North American customers. Greenland is a strategic and stable mining jurisdiction with a transparent regulatory framework and mineral-rich world-class deposits. Greenland’s Mineral Strategy is focused on strengthening the mineral resources sector and corporate activity in Greenland’s mining sector by improving the conditions of licensees (mining companies), while at the same time maximising Greenland’s benefits from the new initiatives in terms of new jobs, increased revenues, skills, and industry knowledge.
GreenRoc’s flagship project, Amitsoq, is located in the Nanortalik region of southern Greenland. It is considered one of the highest-grade flake graphite deposits in the world. Since it listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market in September 2021, GreenRoc has been working on advancing the asset to mine development to unlock its significant value potential, including a successful 2022 drilling programme which returned further exceptional grades.
2022 drilling data was used as the basis of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate, published in January
2023. The newly published 2023 Mineral Resource Estimate (2023 MRE) represents a resource with almost three times the tonnage from the 2022 Maiden Resource Estimate (2022 MRE), with the contained graphite increasing by around 180% (3.08 Mt) from the 2022 MRE. The 2023 MRE comprises a total inferred, indicated and measured JORC resource for the Amitsoq Island Deposit of 23.05 million tonnes (Mt) at an average grade of 20.41% graphitic carbon, giving a total graphite content of 4.71 Mt. One-third of the graphite resource contained in the 2023 MRE now falls within the higher measured and indicated categories, and both categories now imply an important increase in certainty about the Amitsoq mineral resource size and grade. This increase in Mineral Resource Estimate is a significant validation of the project fundamentals as GreenRoc moves into progressing the mine development phase.
The resource is hosted in two layers – the Upper Graphite Layer (UGL) and Lower Graphite Layer (LGL) – both of which have graphite standout grades. The main LGL of 16.88 Mt, at a grade of 21.51% for 3.634 Mt of contained graphite, accounts for more than 77% of the total resource. For context, deposits with compliant resources above 20% contained graphite grade are scarce, with the average global grade of graphite resources being just 8.45% according to S&P Global.
The consistency of the very high grades underpins the quality of the Amitsoq project and its potential to be a significant graphite producer.
Amitsoq graphite’s journey to market
In terms of commercialisation, recent independent micronisation and spheronisation test work has proven that Amitsoq graphite can be easily upgraded to high-grade anode-quality graphite, otherwise known as spherical graphite. Over 99.95% purity of the spheronised graphite has been achieved with relatively little energy input and processing and using the milder alkaline purification method compared to industry standards of hydrofluoric acid, boding well for future production costs and sustainability commitments. Spherical graphite is a key raw material in the manufacturing of EVs, as it is used as the anode material in EV batteries. The anode sector is the fastest-growing market for the mineral, so these results are significant.
The mineral is to play a key role in the net-zero transition, suggesting there will be an ever-increasing and critical need for domestically sourced, responsibly mined graphite within the European and North American EV markets. Spherical graphite is presently only produced in China and Benchmark Mineral Intelligence estimates that nearly 100 new graphite mines (each with 50,000 tonnes annual graphite production) are needed by 2035 to meet the rapidly rising demand. GreenRoc is well positioned to be one such provider, with its strategic Greenlandic location giving a significant competitive advantage thanks to its proximity to the European and North American markets, which creates favourable cost and environmental advantages thanks to reduced shipping requirement. GreenRoc is focused on fast-tracking the development of Amitsoq into a producing mine in the shortest possible timeframe to deliver on this goal.
Production is targeted to commence in 2027, and with the security of supply being a significant consideration for end users, GreenRoc is considering building a processing plant in Europe to produce spherical graphite for EV battery anodes directly from its Amitsoq graphite resource.
Strong managerial team
A skilled board and management team is driving this strategy and development forward, with CEO Dr Stefan Bernstein at the helm. Dr Bernstein is an experienced Danish geologist with over 30 years of experience in Greenland’s mining sector and strong knowledge and understanding of the country and its mineral wealth. Prior to joining GreenRoc, he was responsible for supporting the sustainable exploitation of raw materials in Greenland as Head of the Mapping and Mineral Resources Department at GEUS, the Danish and Greenlandic Geological Survey. Accordingly, he brings a great understanding of the country’s mining sector, which undoubtedly places GreenRoc in good stead for future development.