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In 2011 Peter Epstein, CFA, left a $3 billion hedge fund where he was a senior natural resources analyst to help increase awareness of a number of natural resource companies in which he's invested in. 

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Alabama Graphite Corp., Exclusive CEO Interview, What Makes This Company Unique?

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 12:39 PM EDT

The following interview of the President & CEO of Alabama Graphite Corp. was conducted in the week ended January 8, 2016. The Company’s management team is confident that it’s unique approach to the graphite sector places it among the relative few that will make it into production. Intending to produce Coated Spherical Natural Graphite and other ultra-high purity battery-ready products, Alabama Graphite  describes itself as a, “green-energy, supply chain company.” 

If it can succeed in taking the next value-added step, upgrading its primary graphite concentrate with a proprietary secondary process, it would distinguish itself as the key producer in the U.S, where security of supply is of paramount importance. Please read the interview with the goal of understanding the difference between Alabama Graphite and junior graphite peers, who are largely committed to producing only primary graphite concentrates of varying flake sizes and purities.

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Donald Baxter, P. Eng., is President, CEO & Executive Director of Alabama Graphite Corp.  Mr. Baxter is one of the foremost graphite experts on the continent, having helped define three graphite deposits and having built one of only two producing graphite mines in North America. He’s the only graphite CEO with demonstrated, direct graphite mining, processing and specialty Coated Spherical Natural Graphite  “CSPG” experience. His work on Lithium-ion batteries makes him ideally suited to address surging demand. Mr. Baxter is a, ‘Qualified Person’ as defined by National Instrument 43-101 guidelines.

Please describe Alabama Graphite Corp. to readers unfamiliar with the story.

Baxter: Alabama Graphite Corp, “AGC” (TSX VENTURE:ALP) (OTCQX:ABGPF) (FRANKFURT:1AG) is an emerging U.S. producer of specialty, secondary-processed, final graphite products. We are not a conventional graphite play, but rather we aspire to be a green-energy, supply chain company. AGC presented me with my first opportunity to advance a graphite company strategically from the onset, as opposed to attempting to optimize a business strategy that had already been committed to. 

When I joined AGC in June of 2015, I began implementing an entirely new strategic direction to build and advance the Company as a U.S. green-energy supply chain producer, with a mandate to address the needs of the rapidly expanding American lithium-ion battery industry. This strategy is unique in that it proposes to avoid the traditional approach of producing and selling primary processed material, instead adding considerable value by diverting 100% of our primary processed material to a secondary, proprietary processing route to produce high-value, finished, battery-ready products.

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Alabama Graphite is the only graphite development company with a Preliminary Economic Assessment, “PEA,” that explicitly addresses production of secondary-processed, specialty coated spherical graphite – the only graphite product that we believe has significant, enduring future demand.

Virtually every emerging graphite company claims a strong management team. How is your team different? 

Baxter: We have an accomplished management team and Board intently focused on the green-energy supply chain, and we believe we have the best people in the industry to deliver battery-ready products. Jean Depatie, P.Geo., our Chairman, put the world’s largest graphite mine (the Stratmin Lac-des-Iles Graphite Mine) into production. Director Daniel Goffaux, P.Eng., served as his President, building the Stratmin mine from mere mining claims to an ISO-compliant graphite producer in just three years. Director H. David Ramm, Chairman & CEO of California-based BrightSource Energy, Inc. is also tremendous asset. 

Last year, I appointed graphite industry expert George C. Hawley as Senior Technical Advisor and contracted two independent North American laboratories to complete our team of independent graphite processing experts and lithium-ion battery scientists. I’m confident that we’re capable of executing AGC’s new CSPG-focused strategy. In terms of direct graphite experience, aside from my graphite mining and engineering experience, I was responsible for creating and directing successful spherical graphite programs at two other graphite companies. Also, I was Chief Mining Engineer at the Kearney Graphite Mine when it operated in the 1990s, and subsequently served as Director of Mining at Ontario Graphite.

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