Strategy For Entrance into Niche Graphite Markets

Student: Christopher Stepien, 2016-2017

Sponsor: Hiller Carbon, Tampa, Fl

Hiller Carbon is a custom mineral processing company based in Tampa, Florida. They recently signed a statement of sales intent (SSI) with SYRAH Resources, and Australian resource company. Through SSI Hiller Carbon has agreed to purchase between 25,000 and 35,000 tonnes of Balama recarburiser from SYRAH. Balama recarburiser is natural graphite with appropriate specifications for use as a recarburiser during the steel making process. Selling the natural graphite as a recarburiser would provide low margins and continue Hiller Carbon’s heavy reliance on the steel manufacturing industry. With the intent to diversify business and to sell at higher margins Hiller Carbon is looking into other potential commercial applications for the Balama recarburiser. Some potential applications currently include use as an industrial lubricant in metal foundries, use as a conductive filler in plastics, and use as an additive in paints. Hiller Carbon has also acquired a jet mill that can be used to break down the graphite particle size to the nanometer scale. The project goals are to research niche markets for the Balama recarburiser and to develop a business model for Hiller Carbon’s new graphite product line.