Published: 17 May 2023
Written by Editor
GMG Announces Battery Joint Development Agreement with Rio Tinto
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia--(May 17, 2023) - Graphene Manufacturing Group Ltd. (TSXV: GMG) ("GMG" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that GMG and Rio Tinto have signed a binding Joint Development Agreement ("JDA") with the goal of accelerating the development and application of GMG's Graphene Aluminium-Ion batteries in the mining and minerals industry. Rio Tinto will contribute technical and operational performance criteria and A$6 million, in exchange for preferential access rights.
Rio Tinto has put the net zero transition at the heart of its business strategy: combining investments in commodities that enable the energy transition with actions to decarbonise their operations and value chains. The JDA seeks to support the accelerated development of GMG's Graphene Aluminium-Ion Batteries for use in heavy mobile equipment and grid energy storage applications in the mining and mineral industry.
The JDA builds on the existing collaboration for Rio Tinto to explore the use of GMG's Energy Saving and Energy Storage solutions (see Company announcement on 18 May 2022). This JDA is effective immediately and is expected to last 2 years with payments spread over the term of the agreement. The JDA aims to co-develop GMG's Graphene Aluminium-Ion battery pouch cell into an initial battery pack/module proof of concept.
Rio Tinto will seek to involve Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), including Heavy Mobile Equipment OEMs, to work with GMG and Rio Tinto to align the battery pack development with end use requirements.
Success could see performance enhancements for Rio Tinto, including faster charging and longer-life batteries for heavy mobile equipment and grid energy storage, as well as supporting Rio Tinto's decarbonisation ambitions.
GMG will retain ownership of the intellectual property of the GMG Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery Pouch Cell and Battery Pack. On successful completion of the joint project, Rio Tinto would have the right to procure and use the batteries in their operations.
Rio Tinto Chief Scientist, Nigel Steward, said, "We are excited to expand and deepen our partnership with GMG. We both share a vision of a low-carbon future and for Rio Tinto it's a crucial time to partner with companies like GMG to accelerate battery technology and innovation. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration and leveraging our combined expertise and resources to develop a truly green battery that has the potential to improve the way we supply and store energy."
GMG's Managing Director and CEO, Craig Nicol, commented: "We are excited to be collaborating with Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest mining companies who are committed to leveraging leading technologies for efficient and low carbon operations. The collaboration with Rio Tinto on the applications of Graphene Aluminium-Ion batteries is a key step for GMG. Together, with the existing technical and supply chain partnerships already established, this is another important step towards GMG's goal to become a major global supplier of next generation batteries as we continue to de-risk the commercial scale up of this technology."
Guy Outen, GMG's Chair, commented: "I am very pleased to further deepen our partnership with Rio Tinto. I believe the opportunity to work closely with them given their capability and drive as a large potential customer to access leading new technologies will greatly assist the potential development of our next generation Graphene Aluminium-Ion batteries. More broadly, significant customer feedback to GMG has reinforced the opportunity of the pouch cell battery format and this JDA with Rio Tinto is another example. We'll now re-prioritise our energies to developing this form of battery which should further support progress towards our aim of a commercial, large scale, highly competitive battery."
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading global mining and materials company. Rio Tinto operates in 35 countries and produces iron ore, copper, aluminium, critical minerals and other materials needed for the global energy transition and for people, communities, and nations to thrive. They have been mining for almost 150 years and operate with knowledge built up across generations and continents. Rio Tinto's purpose is finding better ways to provide the materials the world needs - striving for innovation and continuous improvement to produce materials with low emissions and to the right environmental, social and governance standards.
GMG is a clean-technology company which seeks to offer energy saving and energy storage solutions, enabled by graphene, including that manufactured in-house via a proprietary production process.
GMG has developed a proprietary production process to decompose natural gas (i.e. methane) into its elements, carbon (as graphene), hydrogen and some residual hydrocarbon gases. This process produces high quality, low cost, scalable, 'tuneable' and low/no contaminant graphene suitable for use in clean-technology and other applications. The Company's present focus is to de-risk and develop commercial scale-up capabilities, and secure market applications.
In the energy savings segment, GMG has focused on graphene enhanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning ("HVAC-R") coating (or energy-saving paint), lubricants and fluids. In the energy storage segment, GMG and the University of Queensland are working collaboratively with financial support from the Australian Government to progress R&D and commercialization of graphene aluminium-ion batteries ("G+AI Batteries").
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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 Rio Tinto's contribution to the JDA and the expected benefit thereof, the impact of the JDA on the development of the Company's Graphene Aluminium-Ion Batteries, the development of GMG's pouch cell, the potential involvement of OEM, the duration of the JDA, and the benefits derived from the JDA and the partnership with Rio Tinto more generally.
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, risks related to the deployment of the Company's resources, including that the JDA will not result in the benefits management expects, that the Company's products will not develop as expect, that the impact of the JDA and the partnership with Rio Tinto will differ from management's expectations, that OEM will not assist in aligning the battery pack development with equipment requirements, changes to regional and global market trends, and that the Company will be unable to research, develop and produce certain products and technologies.
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, that the JDA will benefit both the Company and Rio Tinto, that the partnership with the Company and Rio Tinto will proceed and produce the benefits expected, that OEM will assist in aligning battery pack development with equipment requirements, the duration of the JDA, the Company's ability to research, develop and test its products within anticipated timelines, and market demand for the Company's products.
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.