Lomiko Metals (TSXV: LMR) is trying to leverage the recent lithium boom without actually mining any lithium. It believes it’s found a backdoor into the lithium story, driven by electric vehicles — and it’s graphite.
“Lithium only has a certain amount of shelf life,” Lomiko president and CEO Paul Gill says during a telephone interview with The Northern Miner. “So people buying all this lithium, they’re going to have to turn it into batteries pretty quickly, so they’re going to need graphite to do that.”
Gill explains that every
“We think the market for electric vehicles is going to take off and there’s going to be a lot of demand,” Gill says. “It may not be the same cost factor, but you need way more of it, which is going to chew up the supply.”
Lomiko’s most advanced property is its 80% owned La Loutre flake graphite property, located 117 km northwest of Montreal and 53 km east of Timcal’s Lac des Îles graphite mine in southern Quebec. The property consists of one contiguous block of 42 mineral claims totaling 25 sq. km. Canada Strategic Metals (TSXV: CJC) owns 20% of the property.
La Loutre contains 18.4 million indicated tonnes grading 3.19% graphite with 16.7 million inferred tonnes grading 3.75% graphite at a 1.5% cut-off rate. The resource lies within the central metasedimentary belt of the Grenville province and includes quartzofeldspathic rocks, quartzite, biotite gneiss, marble and locally pegmatitic quartzofeldspathic rocks.
Prior to Lomiko, Gill was the vice-president of business development for Canadian copper company Norsemont Mining. Hudbay Minerals (TSX: HBM; NYSE: HBN) bought Norsemont for $512 million in 2011. When he tried to figure out what the next “big market” would be, he ended up in graphite.
“It’s the weirdest thing, but graphite has better applications in all of the things that copper does,” Gill says. “It’s more
He thinks lithium has already taken off, but graphite hasn’t yet. And that’s where he sees an opportunity. He says a preliminary economic assessment will come in May after Lomiko does
Lomiko also announced in early January 2018 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it would be launching a cryptocurrency mining company called
SHD creates home technologies that use graphite as a heat sink.
“We wouldn’t drop mining,” Gill says. “Mining is our focus because we believe graphite has a
“Because the way investors are these days, they have A.D.D. They’re jumping here and jumping there and looking for anything that’s hot.”
Gill adds that Lomiko developed its business this way is to make sure its shareholders know that Lomiko is “aware of different things that will create value.”
“If we don’t do this as a small company, there are too many months that pass without news on the graphite, so we’ll lose interest and people consider it dead money,” Gill says. “So we’ve lost money. Even though we’ve developed our graphite side, we’ve lost value in the eyes of the shareholders because we just can’t move as fast as you need to. So you need to have other things that you can speak about and develop to create value.”
Lomiko has two other properties in Canada, besides La Loutre. Its wholly owned Quatre Mills graphite property lies 17 km north of Sainte-Veronique, Que., and its Vines Lake polymetallic property is in the Liard mining district of British Columbia.
“You’re hoping for the home run in graphite, which is where we’re working toward,” Gill says. “But in the
“It’s definitely a more sophisticated response than trudging along, looking for rocks in the ground and hoping to sell it to Hudbay.”
The Northern Miner
Glacier Media (