BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA – Graphene Manufacturing Group Ltd. (TSX-V:GMG) (“GMG” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update as to relevant changes following the recent Battery Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Rio Tinto (17th May 2023) and the growing sales of Energy Saving products. These changes are designed to further align development activities and support the progression of the Battery JDA and the ongoing expansion of Thermal-XR sales following the recently announced distribution agreements (24th May 2023).
The Company had been working in parallel to progress its Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery technically while also seeking feedback from customers as to the highest priority applications. It became clear that pouch cell, rather than coin cell, batteries were of greatest interest to potential key customers. It is also clear that the progression of the battery from the current Battery Technology Readiness Level (BTRL) Level 2-3, (Scientific Proof of Concept into Electrochemical Development) could be accelerated by having key potential customer partners help define operating and design characteristics.
The JDA with Rio Tinto crystalises both elements of obtaining feedback from customers and progressing the battery’s technical development. It further provides a clear development roadmap including use specifications, development targets. In the battery industry it typically takes 3 years or more to move from Phase 1 to Phase 3 when using existing battery production manufacturing systems, materials and equipment as GMG expects to utilise.
GMG is currently making single layer pouch cells to proceed to a 5 layer pouch cell testing and expects to have a >25 Layer Pouch Cell Prototype by H1 2024.
In the context of this strategic move, the Company is aligning its organisation by having all scientific, product development and operations teams combined under the Chief Operating Officer. The mandate for the sale of all products is now the responsibility of the General Manager Sales. This will provide a stronger battery deep science to product performance linkage, prioritise activities and leverage learning across all product performance and also a streamlined engagement with customers with a single point of call for all products.
In addition, the Chief Financial Officer, Frederick Kotzee, after leading a successful raise last year and supporting the company’s strategic steps of establishing sales and selecting a battery development focus, has decided to leave the company and resign as a Director due to a desire to move back to the resources sector and/or more flexible work arrangements effective on 31 July 2023 and hence the company has commenced an executive search for his replacement. We thank Frederick for all his work to get us into our current position over the previous year and we wish him well in his future endeavours.
The Company has also recently secured an additional 1,200 square metres of laboratory, storage and office space adjacent to the existing factory, to support the increasing analysis and development work needed for ongoing battery development. The additional facilities will also improve logistics for production, storage and dispatch of anticipated TXR and Lubricants sales, and support the technical development of potential new applications for energy saving TXR and Lubricants.
The previously announced upgraded, expanded and relocated Phase 1 graphene manufacturing project is underway, although completion is expected to be delayed until the second half of 2023. Costs have also increased to around A$2m, as a result of inflation and some scope changes. The Company is also considering further upgrade to its Battery Development Centre (BDC) and related equipment, including any relevant needs arising from the Rio Tinto JDA.
GMG’s 4 critical business objectives remain to:
1. Produce Graphene and improve/scale the production process
2. Build Revenue from Energy Savings Products
3. Develop Next-Generation Battery
4. Develop Supply Chain, Partners & Project Execution Capability
GMG is a disruptive Australian-based clean-tech company listed on the TSXV (TSXV: GMG) that produces graphene and hydrogen by cracking methane (natural gas) instead of mining graphite. By using the company’s proprietary process, GMG can produce high quality, scalable, ‘tuneable’ and no/low contaminant graphene – enabling demonstrated cost and environmental improvements in a number of world-scale planet-friendly/clean-tech applications. Using this low input cost source of graphene, the Company is developing value-added products that target the massive energy efficiency and energy storage markets. The Company is pursuing additional opportunities for GMG Graphene, including developing next-generation batteries, collaborating with world-leading universities in Australia, and investigating the opportunity to enhance the performance of lubricant oil and performance enhanced HVAC-R coating system.
For further information please contact:
• Craig Nicol, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of the Company at [email protected], +61 415 445 223
• Leo Karabelas at Focus Communications Investor Relations, [email protected], +1 647 689 6041
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes certain statements and information that may constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect the expectations or beliefs of management of the Company regarding future events. Generally, forward-looking statements and information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “intends”, “expects” or “anticipates”, or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “should”, “would” or will “potentially” or “likely” occur. This information and these statements, referred to herein as “forward‐looking statements”, are not historical facts, are made as of the date of this news release and include without limitation, statements regarding sales growth in the Company’s energy saving products including Thermal-XR, market demand for the Company’s products, the Company’s focus on developing certain products, the value of the JDA including its impact on progressing the battery’s technical development generally and along the BTRL, the advantages of the strategic realignment of the organisation, and the expected benefits of the additional facilities on battery development and the production and sales of TXR and lubricants.
These forward‐looking statements involve numerous risks and uncertainties and actual results might differ materially from results suggested in any forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things that the JDA will not result in the benefits management expects, that the Company’s products will not develop as expected, that the impact of the JDA and the partnership with Rio Tinto will differ from management’s expectations, that the strategic realignment of the organisation will not result in the advantages management expects, that the additional facilities will not enable improved production and sales of TXR and lubricants, changes to regional and global market trends, that the Company will be unable to research, develop and produce certain products and technologies, and risks related to the deployment of the Company’s resources.
In making the forward looking statements in this news release, the Company has applied several material assumptions, including without limitation, assumptions regarding the Company’s development of certain products, the market demand for the Company’s products, the JDA and the expected benefits thereof, the advantages that will be derived from the strategic realignment of the organisation, the impact of the additional facilities acquired and its role in developing the Company’s products and enabling production and sale of said products, and the Company’s ability to research, develop and test its products within anticipated timelines.
Although management of the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned that reliance on such information may not be appropriate for other purposes. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, forward-looking information or financial out-look that are incorporated by reference herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. We seek safe harbor.