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Marc Roy, CEO, Focus Graphite Inc. (TSX.V: FMS; OTCQX: FCSMF; FRANKFURT: FKC) Discusses Providing a Steady Secure Supply of Graphite to Feed the Green Energy Revolution

on 10/21/2022
We spoke with Marc Roy, who is CEO of Focus Graphite Inc. (TSX.V: FMS; OTCQX: FCSMF; FRANKFURT: FKC), a technology-oriented exploration and development company that seeks to produce flake graphite concentrate at its wholly owned Lac Knife and Lac Tétépisca flake graphite projects, located in the Côte-Nord administrative region of Québec. As part of its mission to build long-term, sustainable shareholder value, Focus is also evaluating the feasibility of producing value-added specialty graphite products, including battery-grade spherical graphite. Near-term plans include updating of the feasibility study at Lac Knife, as well as drilling at Lac Tétépisca and moving the project to the PEA stage. Focus also holds an equity position in graphene applications developer, Grafoid Inc.

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-Chief of Metals News, talking with Marc Roy, who is CEO of Focus Graphite. Marc, could you give our readers/investors an overview of your Company and what differentiates it from others?

Marc Roy: At Focus Graphite, we actually have two great graphite projects, here in Canada, and specifically in the province of Quebec. Our flagship project is a project called the Lac Knife Project and it's in northern Quebec, in the Fermont area. We have been working on that project and are updating the 2014 feasibility study to bring it up to date and also changing it for the times, by incorporating things like the electrification of vehicles and equipment into our planning. We're updating it so that it's more environmentally friendly and making sure that things are ready to go. We're also looking at adding second transformation processes to that feasibility study. That's underway and we're expecting to have that done in the next few months.

Our second project is Lac Tétépisca. That's closer to the Baie-Comeau area. This was our secondary project, but in fact, it's turning out to be surprisingly better than expected. We have just recently announced results from the initial drilling, which have allowed us to produce a Maiden Resource Estimate or MRE. Our results point to 59.6 million tons of graphite, at a 10.6% CG. That’s over 6 million tons of graphite in-situ. To put that figure in perspective, right now the entire United States demand for flake graphite is about 50,000 tons per year. There is huge potential there, and we were actually very pleasantly surprised and we're continuing to explore. There's a drilling program taking place, as we speak, and we expect to share more results from that drill program, later this year.

Dr. Allen Alper: It sounds great. I know you've been working, with the government and also with indigenous groups, on the program. Could you tell our readers/investors about that?

Marc Roy: I'm in Toronto today and heading back from PDAC. In fact, I had several meetings with members of the Quebec government. The reality is, that right now the Quebec government is making quite a push and has been very helpful and cooperative. They've introduced a strategy, for critical minerals, for the market and have been helpful and having very successful meetings here this week, which I was very happy with.

From the indigenous community standpoint. We very early on, with Lac Tétépisca, met with the Pessamit Council and we are working with them now. As soon as we discovered the magnitude of what we were looking at, at Lac Tétépisca, we initiated a meeting, with not only the council, but also the local community in Baie-Comeau, and met with several business leaders and community leaders in the Baie-Comeau area. We're taking an approach that we're going to partner and taking that approach very early on and collaborating and being very transparent. I think, so far, it's been very well received.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent! Marc, could you tell our readers/investors a little bit more about the projects and your plans for 2022?

Marc Roy: Yeah, 2022 is focused on the updating of the feasibility study at Lac Knife. At the same time, we will continue with the drilling that’s taking place at Lac Tétépisca and we plan to announce the results from that drill program late in 2022, so that we can move to the PEA stage of Lac Tétépisca in early 2023. That's really what's keeping us busy. That's what everybody is working on for the rest of 2022.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you tell our readers/investors a little bit more about the use of graphite and electric vehicles and other applications and an overall bit about the market?

Marc Roy: I think that people are often shocked to find out that over 50% of the minerals used in EV batteries is graphite, and a lot of attention is being placed on other minerals. But in fact, there are no EV batteries, without graphite. We're seeing a resurgence of graphite and interest in graphite. With many governments, and particularly in North America, setting very significant goals, in the short term, for the revolution of EV vehicles, there's a need for graphite. And quite honestly, I think, more than just a need for graphite, because there is abundant graphite in the world. I think there's a need for sustainably produced high-quality flake graphite. I think that there's a very important need for graphite to be produced here in North America, rather than imported from countries who may not be as sustainable, or the production may not be as environmentally friendly. Not to mention that transporting it across the ocean is not environmentally friendly. It's also very costly today. It also creates a dependence that I think can have security risks and certainly have an impact on our economy, long term.

Dr. Allen Alper: Could you tell us a little bit about the properties of your graphite compared to others?

Marc Roy: With the two different projects we have, Lac Knife is a very high grade, high quality, large flake graphite deposit. It's a smaller deposit, with an estimated production of 50,000 tons a year, by today's standards, which would be considered somewhat on the smaller side. But the flake quality and size is excellent. And Joe Doninger, who's our expert has been in the business for 60 years, has said that he thinks this is the highest quality deposit he's ever come across, in his career and that’s at Lac Knife.

Lac Tétépisca is a much larger scale project, with a slightly lower grade, but with large flake as well. We need more testing to be done before we can speak more about that project and the quality. It's still very exciting because that's a very sizable project, in an area where there are other graphite projects. They could conceivably create a hub for graphite production in North America.

Dr. Allen Alper: Very good! Marc, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your Team?

Marc Roy: I am new to Focus Graphite, I'm about to celebrate my second anniversary with Focus Graphite. I am not a miner, I'm not a geologist, my career has been spent restructuring companies and establishing management and strategy. I depend heavily on our Team.

Our Team consists of Judith Maclean, who is a geologist and also our CFO. She has experience working in the mining industry and actually working in mines, in Africa. We have Marc-Andre Bernier, who's our technical expert, and he's a geologist as well. He is a tremendous help. He leads the projects, he leads the work, he's responsible for making sure all the schedules are met, so he's critical to the Team.

Then we have, Réjean Girard, who is our man on the ground. He's a geologist as well. He puts the drill Teams, the exploration Teams on the ground, and he manages all of that. That's our Team, we keep it tight.

Dr. Allen Alper: That’s very good. Could you tell our readers/investors, a little bit about your share and capital structure?

Marc Roy: See our cap table. Currently there is about 552 million shares issued and outstanding. We recently announced the 10 to 1 consolidation of the shares. We are simply waiting for the TSX to get final approval and that will take place, which will bring us around 55 million shares.

Dr. Allen Alper: Where are your shares listed?

Marc Roy: Our shares are listed on the TSX-V.

Dr. Allen Alper: Okay.

Marc Roy: As of this afternoon, our market cap is a little over 12 million.

Dr. Allen Alper: Marc, could you tell our readers/investors the primary reasons they should consider investing in Focus Graphite?

Marc Roy: Number one is really to mitigate that risk. As an economy, but also as a society today, I think we need to invest in sustainably producing graphite and or critical minerals, for the EV market. I think that if we don't, everyone driving around in an EV, thinking that they're doing what's right for the environment, may not be achieving the goals that they think. I think it's important for many companies, in the mining industry, and with critical minerals, that we, as a society, invest and make sure that we protect our environment that way.

Dr. Allen Alper: Is there anything else, Marc, that you'd like to add?

Marc Roy: No, I think that's it. It's great the attention that graphite is gaining and that the spotlight is rising on graphite! I think it's important! Doing it in a sustainable fashion, here in Canada and North America, to supply, not only the North American market, but the European market, is really critical for us. We believe that's why we exist! That's why we're here, and that's what we're working towards.

Kimberly Darlington
Communications, Focus Graphite

Judith Mazvihwa-MacLean
CFO, Focus Graphite
(613) 581-4040

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