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Policy analysis and suggestions for natural flake graphite as a strategic mineral

2020/09/07 11:04
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  Graphite has unique physical and chemical properties and plays an important role in strategic emerging industries. All countries regard graphite as a strategic mineral and have successively introduced policies that are conducive to the development of the graphite industry. The graphite policies of major developed countries such as the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom tend to develop deep-processed products, while African countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique tend to develop and utilize their own graphite resources. Since my country listed crystalline graphite as a strategic mineral in 2016, the graphite industry policy has shifted from rational development and utilization to the research and development of graphite products in strategic emerging areas. This article analyzes the world and my country's graphite-related industrial policies, and proposes countermeasures.

  Graphite has excellent properties such as high temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity, and its products are widely used. Graphite consumption used to be concentrated in the refractory and foundry sectors for a long time, but as China's steel consumption reached its peak, the growth rate of graphite consumption slowed down. The consumption of graphite high-end material-grade products such as high-purity graphite, spheroidized graphite, fluorinated graphite, etc. in strategic emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, energy storage, nuclear energy, electronic information, aerospace technology, etc. is increasing rapidly. Graphite consumption is changing from the traditional The industry is shifting to a strategic emerging industry. As a result, countries around the world have successively introduced a series of policies for graphite. For example, in the "Key Materials Strategy" issued by the United States in 2011, graphite materials and graphene were included in the key development content; my country included crystalline graphite for the first time in 2016. Listed as a strategic mineral, it is required to strengthen the protection and rational use of high-quality graphite resources. This article summarizes the graphite industry policies of the world and my country, and puts forward suggestions on strengthening graphite strategic reserves, rationally arranging graphite development, encouraging research and development of key technologies for emerging products, and rational use of foreign graphite resources.

  Graphite and its products are closely related to strategic emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, nuclear energy, electronic information, and aerospace. Graphite resources and deep-processed products have always been highly valued by governments. The United States, Japan, Australia and other countries and the European Union will As a "key mineral" or "strategic mineral", the world’s major industrialized countries have successively issued industrial policies on graphite development (Table 1) to encourage global control of graphite resources, strategic reserves of graphite resources, and key technologies for graphite products Research etc. As early as 2006, Japan encouraged private companies to develop graphite resources overseas, and in 2012 it included graphite as a key mineral. In 2009, Germany's "Electric Vehicle Development Plan" focused on the development of graphite anode materials for lithium-ion batteries; in 2014, the European Union announced the "Raw Materials Vital to the EU's Life and Death", which included 20 important mineral raw materials including graphite as "key" raw materials List; The "New Mineral Resources Security Act" of the United States in 2009 listed graphite as a "critical mineral" required by the automotive and energy industries, formulated the "Federal Strategy to Ensure the Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals", and proposed the protection of graphite And other 61 specific measures for the supply of key minerals, promote "resource independence" and strengthen domestic supply of key minerals. The United States, Germany, Britain, Japan, Australia, South Korea and other countries have strategically reserved graphite resources due to the lack of graphite resources in their own countries. On the one hand, they restrict domestic mining, on the other hand, they invest in the development of graphite in other countries and set up processing plants. GraphitKropfmuhl AG-GK owns mines and processing plants all over the world. Among them, it has cooperated with Shanxi Quanhai Graphite Co., Ltd. in China to build a special graphite production plant to provide graphite for nuclear reactors. In 2015, an Australian listed company (Syrah Resourc-es, ASX: SYR) invested US$145 million to mine the largest graphite mine in Mozambique and plans to build a lithium battery-grade graphite factory. In terms of the application of graphite materials, the development direction of major developed countries is concentrated on graphite in the field of graphite deep processing.

  In terms of olefins and high-purity flexible materials, South Korea also proposed to invest 500 million won to develop weapons systems such as graphite bombs that can paralyze enemy systems during war. However, developing countries such as India and Tanzania encourage graphite exploration and development of their own resources, and propose that the country has certain equity.