The US investment community, industry and government is intensely interested and concerned about the sustainable supply thematic of critical materials, particularly given China’s dominance in energy related materials.
These materials include battery-grade graphite, lithium, cobalt and rare-earth elements (REEs).
“Growing footprint in the United States”
Hexagon’s chairman Charles Whitfield said: “The management team has significant experience in developing a range of speciality material projects including lithium and high-purity silica into highly successful commercial enterprises.
“Hexagon is ideally positioned to do it again.
“Under managing director Mike Rosenstreich, Hexagon’s growing footprint in the United States is creating compelling, real opportunities to replicate that success in graphite and potentially other critical technology, defence and energy-related materials.”
During discussions regarding the development of its downstream graphite business, Hexagon’s potential strategic funding partners have expressed a clear desire that the company expand its focus.
This evolution in strategy would present exciting complimentary opportunities for Hexagon to access within its downstream commercialisation strategy as well as fast tracking towards cashflow.
The company has determined downstream manufacturing of finished high value products offers higher margins than primary ‘mine-based’ processing into unfinished industrial-mineral concentrates.
Expanded execution skills
Hexagon has engaged Gareth Hatch as senior strategic technical advisor to help guide the battery-graphite development program and to assist in the assessment of new downstream energy-materials opportunities.
Hatch is a critical-materials expert with more than two decades of experience in the supply chains for permanent magnets (PMs) and Li-ion batteries, focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with REEs, nickel, cobalt, graphite, lithium and other energy materials.
Hexagon managing director Mike Rosenstreich said: “I have been impressed by the breadth and depth of Gareth’s understanding of technical and commercial issues around energy materials.
“I am very excited that he has accepted our invitation to join the Hexagon team and contribute his considerable talent as well as North American network to realise our business ambitions.”
Hexagon’s increased presence in the US and interactions with various funding partners have highlighted opportunities in energy materials in addition to graphite.
Hexagon plans to progress this strategy before the end of 2019 and is in early-stage discussions with potential funding groups to act as equity or debt partners.