Focus Graphite Inc. was listed on the TSX-Venture Exchange in May 2010 under the symbol “FMS”. Then known as Focus Metals Inc., it acquired the Lac Knife high purity natural flake graphite property located on the Quebec-Labrador border from IAMGOLD Corporation.
Lac Knife is one of the highest-grade flake graphite deposits in the world. An updated January 2014 resource calculation showed Measured and Indicated resources totaling 9,576,000 million tonnes grading 14.77% graphitic carbon, with Inferred resources* of 3,102,000 tonnes grading 13.25% carbon.
A Feasibility Study, prepared by Met-Chem Canada Inc., released in August 2014, indicated that Lac Knife has the potential to become one of the lowest-cost, highest-margin producers of graphite in the world at $441 CAD per tonne of graphite concentrate.
Also in 2010, the company signed an option agreement with SOQUEM Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Investissement Québec, to acquire a 50% interest in the Kwyjibo Rare Earth property. By September 2016, Focus had spent $6.5M on development of the Kwyjibo property and earned its ownership in the project.
Focus’ subsequent decision was to develop its secondary Lac Tetepisca, and Lac Guinecourt, Québec, graphite properties from claims it acquired in 2012, resulting in the completion of its mining asset acquisition. The results of infill and extension drilling undertaken at Lac Tétépisca in late 2017 are intended for inclusion in a planned Feasibility Study to determine the Project’s economic viability.
The company’s flagship Lac Knife deposit, however, is strategically positioned to supply large, medium, fine and superfine grades of Lac Knife products into the clean energy technology economy as the world adopts measures to reduce carbon emissions – a key contributor to global warming.
As a reflection of its core business objectives, Focus Metals became Focus Graphite in May 2012, and introduced its technology weighted business model to focus on the development of innovative, value added graphite materials and products to meet the needs of the clean energy sectors.
Graphite – like lithium and cobalt – is a critical strategic material in the clean energy technology economy, driven by increasing demand for products such as Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles, energy storage, photovoltaics, and consumer electronics from smartphones to laptops.
Today, Focus Graphite’s Lac Knife Project sits as the most advanced graphite venture in North America and the company is helping to change the world. When completed, our high-purity graphite will power the machines of future mobility. Our critical material will come from one of the world’s highest-grade resources and our final products are expected to be unmatched in purity and price.
Our investments in battery-materials innovation have enabled us to create value-added graphite products for tomorrow’s world.
Under the direction of Dr. Joseph Doninger, Focus’ Director of Manufacturing and Technology, we have announced a series of innovated graphite value-added products that address customers’ needs in a clean-tech world.
One of those materials is coated spherical graphite, which is expected to experience a dramatic increase in demand over the next four years, and our achievements in this area have drawn the interest of the global battery manufacturing industry.
Long-term testing of our high purity graphite products – with various potential customers – has been underway since 2015 and discussions leading to offtake agreements are continuing. Long-term testing is a critical milestone for acceptance by potential offtake partners and perhaps the single most important element in determining the viability of our planned mine-to-manufacturing supply chain.
The following technical achievements support our objectives of becoming a technology graphite supplier to the global market.
- May 2014: Focus announced the development of its premium standard (medium) and fine battery grades, and its subsequent August 2016 announcement of the successful purification of Lac Knife’s fine grade material to 99.99% purity.
- November 2015: Focus Graphite published data showing that its Lac Knife Standard Grade of uncoated and coated spherical graphite exhibited essentially zero loss in capacity after 110 cycles versus two commercially competitive grades that showed losses of 4.4% and 6.4% over the same number of cycles.
- September 2017: Dr. Doninger presented long term cycling test results demonstrating that the zero loss in capacity of the Standard Grade of coated spherical graphite lasted for 250 cycles and showed a loss of only 4.5% in capacity after 570 cycles. With a better than 50% cycling performance in comparative testing, these results suggest that Lac Knife’s coated SPG could last beyond 2000 cycles in full sized batteries. These results are significant to battery manufacturers who factor life cycle economics as a key benefit to end-users.
- October 2017: Focus published its development of a “Superfine” battery graphite product to the battery market – a milestone in the company’s creation of a diverse range of lithium-ion battery applications. In commercial terms, this development both enlarges Focus Graphite’s customer base and expands our value-added product range.
- October 2017: Focus Graphite revealed it had produced a silicon-enhanced graphite anode using Lac Knife graphite – a product that could double the capacity of Lithium-Ion power sources versus synthetic and standard graphite tested.
- October 2017: Focus announced its in-house development of highly conductive Ultrafine and Expanded graphite for use in Lithium-Ion and alkaline batteries. Testing indicated the electrical conductivity of Lac Knife’s ultrafine and expanded graphite outperformed both commercially available synthetic and standard flake graphite by up to a Factor of 10.
Focus continues to progress toward commercial production in three areas: provincial permitting, project financing and customer off-takes. Engineering and environmental studies are underway to secure operating licenses. The company has been in discussions with a consortium of interested financing parties for some months and potential customers continue to test our value-added products. It is expected that all three areas will gain acceptance in 2018.
Please Note: All historical technical and corporate data related to Focus Graphite Inc. can be found on this website, and; on the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval or SEDAR, the official site that provides access to most public securities documents and information filed by issuers with the thirteen provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities (“Canadian Securities Administrators” or “CSA”) in the SEDAR filing system.
Focus Metals Inc. listed on the TSX Venture Exchange on May 25, 2010. IAMGOLD sold 100% of the Lac Knife property to Focus on October 5, 2010. Focus Metals changed its name to Focus Graphite on May 24, 2012, to better reflect the company’s core business.