At Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC), we strive every day to help bring a bright future for our region and Our People. That is why on August 28, the BSNC Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion supporting development of the Graphite Creek project by Graphite One Inc. The BSNC Board also approved a $2 million investment in Graphite One, which Graphite One has announced it will use to continue pre-development work and a feasibility study on the Graphite Creek project. BSNC’s investment agreement also grants BSNC the option to invest up to a further $8 million in Graphite One in the future.
The investment agreement also provides that Graphite One and BSNC will jointly establish an advisory board with the intent to foster communication of Graphite One’s activities and development details, utilize the local expertise of BSNC and provide a way for voices of local stakeholders to be heard.
“This is not just an investment in Graphite One, it is a long-term investment in our region. We at BSNC have watched for years as Graphite One has worked to advance the Graphite Creek project and become a friendly neighbor in the region,” said Dan Graham, BSNC Interim President and CEO. “Graphite One has told us of its intent to develop an environmentally responsible project and provide an exciting economic opportunity for the region that hopefully will play a crucial role in the nation’s transition to a clean energy future. This is at the heart of our Board’s unanimous support of the project.”
The Graphite Creek deposit is a high-grade flake graphite deposit located approximately 35 miles north of Nome. Graphite is a primary element in large lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles and by utilities for energy storage. There are presently no active graphite mines in the U.S. and, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Graphite Creek deposit is the largest known graphite resource in the country.
“After careful review and many long discussions, we believe Graphite One shares our values of land stewardship and providing benefits to the region. Our investment in Graphite One is about providing opportunities for BSNC shareholders and being proactive about the future of our region,” said BSNC Chair Cindy Massie.
In July, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Graphite One with a $37.5 million grant to help fund completion of a feasibility study, a critical step in moving the Graphite One project forward. BSNC’s investment furthers that objective.