First Graphene (ASX:FGR) Presentation, FNN Online Investor Event, June 2020

Company Presentations

First Graphene Limited (ASX:FGR) Non-Executive Chairman Warwick Grigor talks about the company's PureGRAPH range of specialist graphene and how it is developing the market in collaboration with companies from a range of industries, including mining, marine, solar and safety equipment.

What I want to emphasize to you today, is that First Graphene is building the graphene materials industry. I want to make sure that you appreciate this is not just a sales pitch for a wonderful new 2D material. We don't want to [inaudible 00:00:14] about the possibilities. There they are, great. What I want to impress upon you is the disciplined, methodical approach we're you're using to become the first profitable graphene industry operator. It's not about promotion, it's about delivery. So of we go to slide three, thanks. Because everyone knows these disclaimers.

The first point here is the most important point. We've taken five years of work to get to this position of being the world's leading manufacturer and we're based in Western Australia. So now that we've learned how to make graphene, we've learned how to make good quality, high-performance graphene, and we've got a 100 ton per annum production facility. Now what we've got to do is turn it into a profitable producing company.

This sums up the company quite neatly. The pursuit of quality is the overriding ethos. Building the sales book is the dominant objective, and accelerating industry leadership and maximizing our first mover advantage is the method by which we're doing that. We've pioneered the state-of-the-art analytical methods to deliver quality assurance for customers. We have a highly qualified scientific and manufacturing team based in the UK and Western Australia. We have sales contracts covering mining equipment, footwear manufacturing, PPE equipment, and leisure industry.

And on that laser industry, I'd like to let you know about some breaking news today. We've announced a contract with Australia's largest in-ground pool manufacturer, which we've been working on for getting on two years now to get them over the line, to get the testing done, to make them ready, willing, and able to enter the graphene age. And it's pretty big news today. We've announced two and a half tons per annum contract size, but that's just the starting point. We expect that'll be a lot bigger. So with that in the fiberglass industry, we expect increasing awareness through many industries, which will lead to a snowballing of orders in many product verticals.

So the next slide, that shows you the path that we're on. We started on the most simple elastomers, glass fiber composites. We're moving up towards the fire retardants, carbon fiber composites, concrete and energy storing. That's the path that we'll be walking over the next few years as we scale up. But they're big markets. That's a very important point to make. Industrial rubbers, not including tires, are about $30 billion per annum, US. Glass fiber composites are 60 to 80 billion US. Fire retardants are 8 billion. Carbon fiber composites, 48 billion. Concrete admixtures are 18 billion, and energy storage is a couple of billion. These are big markets. Even if we only get a tiny slice of these, it'll make us enormously profitable. Next slide.

So as an overview, mining, textiles and apparels, leisure and marine construction, automotive, industrial and energy storage, that's what we're focusing on. And to have a look at a bit more detail, we'll go to the next slide. Our first sales were to the mining industry suppliers. What we have there on the left, the photograph is a bucket-wheel reclaimer from a major iron ore producer. These liners that we make for the bucket-wheel reclaimer. They weigh about 200 kilograms each. They protect the steel buckets from wearing out. They generally last about six, seven months, and then they go back into the workshop to be relined. They're being used in the field now with leading iron ore companies and we are getting very impressive results. It looks like with the addition of the graphene, you'll double a life for those, and that means much better efficiency, better productivity. It's all good.

The product range within the mining industry is being extended to include screening media, conveyor systems. Anywhere where polymers are being used, they will be in due course replaced by graphene-enhanced polymers. Each new product requires a level of testing in the field, so it's a process of ramping up over a number of years, but the ball's well and truly going now. We've had it in the field for 12 months and it's growing. There's another benefit to adding graphene to these polymers, and that's fire retardancy. The leading iron ore companies have all had big problems over the years with screening media catching fire.

One company the March quarter last year lost a $100 million worth of production. When you're doing maintenance and you've got hot steel bolts around polymers, if it falls on a bit of polymer, if you don't get it off quickly, it's going to start a serious fire. What we've learned with graphene apart from the much better wear resistance, and order of magnitude doubling a mine life, these screens will not burn at oxygen levels of less than 31% atmospheric oxygen levels. Considering that atmospheric oxygen is about 21% oxygen, you're not going to get these screens burning anymore and causing big shutdowns of these projects. The iron ore companies are very excited about that because it was just costing them so much money.

Our initial sales agreement is for three tons of PureGRAPH to the supplier of these polymers to the mining industry at a selling price of $200 US a kilogram. That's worth almost 3 million Aussie to us, and that's just the starting point. It's the beginning of a big growth curve. Next slide, please. Just last month we announced a sales agreement to supply planarTECH with our a paragraph 10 product for using PPE. In face masks, you see a lady there wearing a graphene-lined face mask. That'll have a lot of advantage over existing face masks. They can easily be used and washed 10 times without losing any of the effectiveness. That opens up a totally new product vertical for us, and the growth curve for that is expected to be very large. We've announced one ton per annum initially, but that's just to get the ball rolling. Again, we would expect much biggest sales as time goes by from this and the product is appreciated around the world. That contract in itself is worth about half a million dollars per annum, but it will grow.

In January this year, we announced a sales agreement with Steel Blue for the use of PureGRAPH 10 in its range of safety boots. This is expected to build up to two tons per annum by the second year of the contract, which would be worth about a million dollars a year in sales to us. We're also in negotiations with other footwear manufacturers that could lead to more contracts. So the ball is rolling on that vertical front as well.

But here are leisure and marine composites. That's what I mentioned earlier, the announcement today to Aqua Leisure Technologies, the leading pool manufacturer in Australia. We think it'll be some multiple of that very quickly. Next week, we will see the launching of an advertising campaign which promotes the pools, yes, but also promotes the benefits of graphene, and so we'll start to see graphene, our PureGRAPH product become more accepted throughout the public. Some shareholders were unhappy earlier this year because we were running behind on securing this contract. We thought we might've been able to sign this by Christmas last year, but when I took time. We're there now. Took exhaustive testing, but we're there and we're confident.

The improvements that PureGRAPH offers include a 30% reduction in manufacturing costs in 80% of the time for a stronger product. Therefore, the company improves both the profit margin and it expands its manufacturing capability at no initial [inaudible 00:00:09:22]. It's a great result. If you extrapolate these improvements to other fiberglass products in a worldwide market in excess a 60 billion US per annum, you'll see there's enormous growth potential in this field. It's the biggest advancement in glass fiber manufacturing in 40 years, and we're at the leading edge of that. Next slide please.

Successfully to more success as industry becomes aware of the significant benefits of using graphene, we expect that more companies will want to adapt this great additive at an accelerating rate, and where will I go to get it? To the world's leading supplier, of course. As we expand our skill base and build our reputation, we'll be opening doors to new product verticals and customers. There's a vast range of products into which we can grow, including automotive parts, rubbers, and plastics.

Energy storage is something we're often asked about. You frequently see articles about graphene being added batteries to give great improvement in performance. Batteries have not been much of interest to us so far, due to the complexities of the market, the vast range of batteries being worked on, and many companies and the multitude of technologies and levels of economics. Everyone claims to have the best new battery design, so this probably means that there's more promotion out there than fact, but we're happy to supply PureGRAPH to these companies when they are ready to start buying and manufacturing. But for us, it will be an expensive and high-risk strategy to divert our team away from the product lines on which we are focusing.

That said, supercapacitors involve a different proposition. We have a worldwide license from the University of Manchester for a supercapacitor design that is perfectly suited to our style of graphene. We hope to have a prototype out this year. Just watch this space for when that comes out. Next slide.

Construction. Concrete is a product that could benefit greatly from the addition of graphene. Our test work shows that the addition of a tiny amount, only 0.02% by weight, can lead to a 30% improvement in tensile strength. Such a small amount would cost only about $10 a ton of concrete, so it's very economical. But wait, there's more. Permeability of concrete would drop by as much as 50%, maybe even 70%. that happens because using PureGRAPH results in a reduction of microcracks through which water can migrate and start to cause concrete cancer. Concrete is a longer term project for us because we need to find a suitable partner that wants to go along the path of innovation. The regular crete approval path will be elongated, and that in itself guarantees a longer timeframe irrespective of the benefits, but we will grow into that. Next slide please.

So the point I'd like to make is it's all about quality. Why First Graphene, rather than any potential graphene company? The first point is quality. We lead the world. We are even getting inquiries out of China because the Chinese can't get the quality of graphene that they need. That says something. The second part is capacity. No one else is positioned with the supply capability that we have. The third point is that we have a commercial sales book that is growing rapidly. We can deliver graphene materials and we can design solutions for adding graphene to a range of industrial products. There is no profitable graphene material company in the world today, but we aim to be the first. At any one point, we have dozens of companies that have approached us and said, "We've heard about this graphene. It seems to be pretty good, but can we use it in our products? Can you show us how to use it?"

The prices of getting a new customer on board emanating from that initial inquiry would probably take a good six months to do test work, experiment, find out what's the best size graphene, which product. And then once we've gone through that, the company has to decide, "All right, well, seems like it works. Let's put it in our product, next design introduction." That can easily take another six months or more. So at any one point, we could be coming up with next week or next month another contract with a company that has decided we want to be in the graphene business. We want to be in that game and we want the benefits.

So shareholders, it does take a while. Rome wasn't built in a day, but I think by what I've shown you today, we are making very good progress and we are delivering on our promise of building a sales book. Next slide please. So that's our company, First Graphene. Offices in West Australia and the UK, and the world is our oyster. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.


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