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The demand for graphite and critical metals is reliable and not going away - Lomiko Metal's Labatte

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(Kitco News) - Critical minerals continue to take more focus away from precious metals as the global energy transition has completely disrupted the resource sector, according to one mining executive.

In an interview with Kitco Mining, on the sidelines of the CIM convention and expo on May 1, 2023, Belinda Labatte, president and CEO of Lomiko Metals (TSX-V: LMR), said that the ongoing shift to decarbonize and electrify the global economy will continue to drive demand for critical minerals like graphite; At the same time, she added that Canada is in a unique position to become a leader in this space.

"Everybody's trying to establish what does energy transition look like from a geopolitical perspective? It means that domestic minerals here in North America are going to be valued more than that same mineral overseas," she said. "We are the only country in the Western hemisphere that has all these 30 minerals. Gold you can find everywhere; not the case with these critical minerals. To develop these resources to move them from resource to reserve and into production is a massive change in what's needed in terms of social acceptability access to capital here in Canada. Canada is going to shine in the world in terms of our ability to bring these, minerals to production."

Lomiko is developing its La Loutre project, a high-grade large flake graphite deposit located in Northern Quebec. Although global recession risks have been weighing on industrial metals, Labatte said that she expects demand for critical metals, including graphite, to remain robust.

She noted the push in Canada to have all new vehicles be electric by 2035; at the same time, the penetration rate for EVs is currently at about 10%.

"The growth rate is fantastic. The demand profile for EVs is here for the long term. It's changing, which means that the demand for graphite is continuous; it's reliable; it's not going away," she said.

Labatte added that what makes graphite an exciting critical metal is that it is essential in batteries but still gets little attention compared to lithium. Graphite is used to regulate heat in the battery.

"For some reason, [graphite] just has not received as much attention and what we're seeing now is that the automakers are saying vocally, we want Canadian graphite," she said.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.