Tesla may be interested in buying graphene from a mine in Oaxaca, Mexico, the state's economy minister said. This will be possible after the work of the mine is resumed. Mexican businessmen will reopen a crystalline graphite mine to turn it into graphene.
Juan Pablo Guzmán, Minister of Economy of the State of Oaxaca, says that Canadian and American companies, like Tesla, are interested in purchasing graphene, which will be extracted from a crystalline graphite mine in the state, according to Latinta Oaxaca. “There are interests from several Canadian and American investors, I even know that companies like Tesla have had an interest that when the mine is reactivated they can have some kind of agreement to buy graphene from crystalline graphite,” he said.
Graphene has unique properties for the production of electronic components. This material, extracted from graphite, is very thin, light, very strong, cheap, and is also a superconductor. Crystalline graphite has a high flake density required for electric vehicle batteries. Purified natural graphite has a better crystalline structure and provides higher electrical and thermal conductivity compared to synthetic graphite. Also, the transition to natural graphite can reduce the final cost of the battery, while maintaining the same performance.
Oaxaca has crystalline graphite thanks to a dormant mine that has been shut down for the last 15 years. However, production there should be restarted soon, said the former CEO of Envasadora Gugar del Bajío. “In the last 2 or 3 years, agreements have been reached and there is already a general agreement, there are even new Mexican investors, who want to reactivate the crystalline graphite mine, a mineral that is scarce worldwide,” says Juan Pablo Guzmán.
“In the foreign market, especially in the US, Mexican graphite competes with its Chinese counterpart, which is pushing it out because of its low price,” explains Tatiana Clouthier Carrillo. Graphene, mined in Oaxaca, is of high quality, so when the concession is renewed, there will be demand for it.
The Minister of Economy's statement remains ambiguous, as it only hints that Tesla is allegedly interested in buying graphene from the mine. The vague wording could also hint that the company's big name may have been used to attract investors' attention.
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.