Even though graphite companies have been ever increasing blips on investors' radar screens over the past couple of years, the space got a massive visibility and validation boost when the already iconic Tesla Motors announced its planned lithium ion battery gigafactory to be completed by 2017 to support the demand for its new Tesla Model S.
It's partnering with Panasonic and initiatives by rival behemoths such as Samsung and others will undoubtedly add to the interest both for graphite and tech derivative graphene.
Without reciting readily available facts, the bottom line is that Tesla is projected to use 30k tons of battery grade spherical graphite derived from 102k tons of feedstock. At the moment, only 80k tons of the high-grade natural flake mineral necessary is being produced annually. And given that the cost per ton of synthetic graphite is roughly double that of natural flake, the future growth may well belong to the latter as more mines come on-stream.
"Investors need to understand that the impressive growth will ultimately come from graphite/graphene technology applications such as 3D printing," stated A. Paul Gill, CEO of Lomiko Metals. "Lomiko not only has first class mineral properties, but also intends to be an incubator of graphene technologies. The recent successful market debut of Graphene 3D Labs, of which LMR owns 11.23% or 4.4 million shares, has been a solid proof of concept that our aggressive plans to seek out the best opportunities deliver exceptional shareholder value."
Considering there are more than 11,000 plus patents or patents pending for graphene technologies, the story just gets more compelling. Large companies such as General Electric and Lockheed-Martin and have also confirmed their interest in utilizing graphene technologies.
Credit Suisse forecasts that global 3D printing market revenues will reach almost $12 billion by 2020; it came in just over $2 billion in 2012. That represents annual growth of 20-30%. The retail consumer/small business market shows the largest growth potential with 100%+ year over year growth in 2013.
While financing for all companies is tough at the moment, LMR closed a $5.5 million financing in March 2014. As well, over the last nine months, the Company's 100 % subsidiary, Lomiko Technologies, invested $350,000 for a stake in (with Graphene Labs) spinoff Graphene 3D Labs for a final ownership total of approximately 4.4 million shares.
GGG began trading on Aug 11th, 2014, and the shares rapidly hit $1.22 a share on Aug 13 2014, a rise of more than 800% on impressive volumes. The shares currently trade at about $0.95, evidencing the ongoing investor interest. For Lomiko, the collective math of the value of its stake following the GGG debut and recent financing should impress investors. Lomiko's current market cap is a modest $10.25 million.
At $0.075 a share, investors in Lomiko are basically buying the cash and Graphene 3D Lab stake and getting the rest of the assets as a bonus.
Over and above the fact that Gill is a font of knowledge on all things graphite, graphene and the related technologies and applications, the way he has structured Lomiko is unique among peers. Is LMR a graphite miner? A tech company? An advocate for the economics and sustainability of natural flake graphite and graphene applications? Yes.
Anyone who has linked to Gill or Lomiko on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or signed up for news directly from the Company will never have to wade through pedestrian information, but the latest and most relevant developments in the space. Given how fast moving developments are, investors who want to keep abreast should find LMR not only a great potential investment, but also an indispensable information resource.
Graphene 3D Labs has proprietary technology which management believes has the potential to bring 3D printing to the next stage of commercial development and create new markets. The company has two US patent applications pending for its technology.
Nobel Laureate Andre Geim discovered graphene in 2004. Simply put by Geim in a 2013 CNN interview:
Because of its range of extraordinary properties, people are considering using graphene in a myriad of different applications. For example, because graphene is so strong, people want to use it to reinforce plastics, making them conductive at the same time. Because it's transparent and conducts electricity, people want to use it in applications like mobile phone screens, touch screens, TV screens and so on. People are also considering using it to go beyond silicon technology and make our integrated circuits even denser and speedier. Those are just few examples.
While the applications in 3D printing are impressive, there are several multi-billion dollar industries that will benefit from this alliance including the medical appliance market, biotech and super capacitors. RFID, smart packaging, ITO replacement, sensors, logic and memory are also areas where graphene will likely see exceptional growth.
Lomiko's flagship property, the 3824 hectare Quatre Milles in Quebec continues to move ahead. The eastern portion has already been drilled. The exciting part is what was found in the West Claim Block in the July 2014 survey; 88 magnetic anomalies with no less than 23 high priority targets. These represent by far the best potential within the property, displaying the same size as the eastern anomalies but larger in number of targets. Since the Company can't ignore the impressive potential of these findings, drilling is being stepped up within the 2014 plan. Lomiko's cash position will fund the development.
If you want a pure graphite mining play there are lots of candidates. If you want one that is already diversifying revenue streams, positioning itself at the leading technology edge of this burgeoning space and can be had for what seems to be a ridiculously low price, kick Lomiko's tires.
Lomiko trades at $0.06 with a market cap of $8.2 million.