Westwater Resources Commends President Biden’s Decision to Invoke the Defense Production Act
CENTENNIAL, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Westwater Resources, Inc. (NYSE American: WWR), a battery-grade, natural graphite development company (“Westwater” or “the Company”), commends President Biden for signing a Presidential Determination to invoke the Defense Production Act to encourage domestic production of critical materials for large capacity batteries for electric vehicles and clean energy storage. The President’s decision is part of a broader set of initiatives to address rising energy prices and help the United States meet its climate goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with a target date of 2035 for a clean domestic power grid.
On March 31, 2022, the President announced via Twitter:
“Today, I am issuing a directive to strengthen our clean energy economy. To use the Defense Production Act to secure American supply chains for the critical materials that go into batteries for electric vehicles and storage of renewable energy.”
The Defense Production Act (DPA) is the primary source of presidential authorities to expedite and expand the supply of materials and services from the U.S. industrial base needed to promote the national defense. DPA authorities include protection or restoration of critical infrastructure.
The United States is 100 percent dependent on imports for battery-grade graphite, which is currently the primary anode material in the Lithium-ion batteries powering smartphones, laptops, electric vehicles. Those batteries also store power generated from intermittent renewable energy sources. Westwater is continuing construction activities on Phase I of the Kellyton graphite processing plant near Kellyton, Alabama, which will purify natural graphite concentrates into battery-grade materials.
Westwater’s Coosa graphite deposit in Coosa County, Alabama is a significant graphite property in the continental United States, and the Company is currently conducting an exploration program on the deposit, with the expectation to develop the deposit to supply natural flake graphite for processing into battery-grade graphite for all types of batteries.
“The President’s order could open new opportunities for the Company,” said Chad Potter President and CEO of Westwater. “We are in the construction phase of our Kellyton graphite processing plant. The United States is heavily dependent on imports of graphite, especially from China. We are proud to have a domestic graphite project in Alabama and in the United States.”
“Westwater will support the government’s efforts and will work to ensure the White House remains aware of the importance of battery grade graphite, of the importance of graphite to the nation’s security, and how the Company’s Kellyton graphite processing plant and its Coosa graphite deposit fit into the Country’s critical minerals equation,” Mr. Potter concluded.
About Westwater Resources, Inc.
Westwater Resources, Inc. (NYSE American: WWR) is focused on developing battery-grade natural graphite. The Company’s primary project is the Kellyton graphite processing plant that is under construction in east-central Alabama. In addition, the Company’s Coosa graphite deposit is the most advanced natural flake graphite deposit in the contiguous United States — and located across 41,900 acres (~17,000 hectares) in Coosa County, Alabama. For more information, visit www.westwaterresources.net.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions and are identified by words such as “expects,” “estimates,” “projects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “scheduled,” and other similar words. Forward looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the construction and operation of the Company’s Kellyton graphite processing facility, the Company’s Coosa graphite deposit, and the costs and schedules associated with them. The Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of the Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Westwater’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: (a) the spot price and long‑term contract price of graphite (both flake graphite feedstock and purified graphite products) and vanadium, and the world-wide supply and demand of graphite and vanadium; (b) the effects, extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which we operate; (c) the ability to obtain contracts with customers; (d) available sources and transportation of graphite feedstock; (e) the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction and operation of the Kellyton graphite processing facility; (f) the ability to construct and operate the Kellyton graphite processing plant in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; (g) government regulation of the mining and manufacturing industries in the United States; (h) unanticipated geological, processing, regulatory and legal or other problems we may encounter; (i) the results of our exploration activities at the Coosa graphite deposit, and the possibility that future exploration results may be materially less promising than initial exploration results; (j) any graphite or vanadium discoveries at the Coosa graphite deposit not being in high enough concentration to make it economic to extract the metals; (k) our ability to finance growth plans; (l) the potential effects of the continued COVID-19 pandemic; (m) currently pending or new litigation or arbitration; and (n) our ability to maintain and timely receive mining, manufacturing, and other permits from regulatory agencies.
Westwater Resources, Inc.
Terence J. Cryan, Executive Chairman of the Board
Phone : 303-531-0516
Jeff Vigil, VP Finance & CFO
Porter, LeVay & Rose
Michael Porter, President