Industrial Minerals’ Simon Moores reported Wednesday on the skepticism surrounding graphene’s relevance to the graphite industry, commenting that he believes that most graphite miners and processors will not be interested in entering the graphene space.
Instead, he anticipates “the rise of a new style of company, a carbon nano-tech company that may use small volumes of flake graphite but won’t share strong ties with the mining industry.”
As quoted in the market news:
The direction the industry takes hinges upon identifying a commercially viable end product that will be adopted by the market. While graphene in theory has endless applications, the reality is that finding users willing to take the risk of adopting an entirely new material is a difficult task.
That being said, it is unlikely that the majority of graphite miners or processors will ever want to enter the graphene race. Many will feel it is too big a departure from their core industrial businesses of refractories, foundries, lubricants and, to some extent, batteries. It would also take significant R&D investment to compete with the public and private companies that are already established, many of which are leading university spin-offs.
Therefore expect to see the rise of a new style of company, a carbon nano-tech company that may use small volumes of flake graphite but won’t share strong ties with the mining industry. As a result, also expect the focus of natural graphite producers to be fixed on refractories and batteries while graphene’s pioneers attempt to create a new industrial paradigm.