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Sweden Increases Focus on Improving Conditions for the Supply of Innovation-Critical Metals and Minerals

07.12.2017  |  CNW

VANCOUVER, Dec. 7, 2017 /CNW/ - Leading Edge Materials Corp. ("Leading Edge Materials") or (the Company") (TSXV:LEM) (OTCQB: LEMIF) is pleased to share the recent findings of an in depth study by the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Tillväxtanalys) on the role Sweden can play in a future supply chain for a range of high value critical raw materials including rare earth elements, lithium, graphite and tungsten.

Leading Edge Materials holds significant mining and exploration assets for such materials in Sweden, and is presently seeking a Swedish listing on the Nasdaq First North market to allow for an increased focus on the Nordic region (see press release dated 4th October 2017).

The report, commissioned by the Swedish government and entitled "Innovation-critical metals & minerals from extraction to final product – how can the state support their development?" provides a very positive view on the pivotal role Sweden can play a critical raw material supply chain from mining through to recycling.  Release of the report coincided with an event in Stockholm hosted by the Swedish Minister for Enterprise, Mikael Damberg, who emphasized the enviable position of Sweden as an innovative high technology country with a very active resources industry. 

The Growth Analysis report outlines the future needs for innovation-critical metals and minerals, and provides policy recommendations for the Swedish Government on how to best stimulate the development of an entire Swedish production chain from extraction to finished product.  A copy of the report can be found at http://www.tillvaxtanalys.se/in-english/publications/reports/reports/2017-11-23-innovation-critical-metals--minerals-from-extraction-to-final-product---how-can-the-state-support-their-development.html.  

Blair Way, President and CEO, stated "We commend the Swedish Government for taking a long-range view on the mining and minerals industries, recognizing that new materials in addition to current ones shall be mined and recovered in Sweden in the near future. Innovation critical metals and minerals are relatively small volume but high value markets, yet they underpin the development of very extensive value add supply chains in renewable energy generation, storage and conservation.  Many of these materials are presently mined in an unsustainable way in other parts of the world, and Sweden is taking positive steps towards becoming a global leader in sustainable mining of these new materials. 

Leading Edge Materials presently receives significant support from the Swedish Government through the agency Vinnova, which funds collaborative research between companies, universities, research institutes and public sector.  The Company is pleased to advise of the initiation of a fourth government funded project entitled "Graphene Energy" which aims to apply graphene from the Company's Woxna graphite facility to enhance the electrical conductivity and the mechanical strength of lithium ion battery anodes.  Other project partners comprise 2D fab AB, VestaSi AB, Ångström Advanced Battery Centre (ÅABC), Uppsala University (UU) and Mid Sweden University (MIUN). 

With the initiation of this latest project, the Company is now collaborating in four Swedish government or European Commission supported projects, demonstrating the broad spectrum of potential markets for Woxna graphite:

  1. Vinnova Graphene Energy Project – Announced December 6th 2017
  2. Vinnova High Purity Graphite Battery Project – Natural Swedish Graphite for Future Lithium Ion Batteries - Announced 16th October, 2017
  3. InnoEnergy Li Ion Battery Manufacturing Project – Announced 27th July 2017
  4. Vinnova Graphene Composite Project – Graphene Modified Composites for Long-Term and High-Temperature Applications - Announced 8th June, 2017

These projects focus on sustainable high value applications for Woxna graphite.  They apply both proven technology, and introduce innovative research to improve all aspects of the materials.

Leading Edge Materials is fortunate to be working closely with the Ångström Advanced Battery Centre ("ÅABC") at Uppsala University, headed by battery industry leader Professor Kristina Edström.  The Company's work with the ÅABC provides an excellent example of the crossover between mining and emerging technology as envisaged under the Growth Analysis report and shall potentially allow for a deep and valuable graphite supply chain to be established in Sweden, based on materials sustainably sourced from the Woxna graphite mine.

On behalf of the Board,

"Blair Way"                                                                                                                        
Blair Way, President & CEO

About Leading Edge Materials

Leading Edge Materials was formed with our sights firmly focused on the material demands of a once-in-a-generation revolution, as the world shifts to the efficient production, storage and preservation of low carbon energy. From the lithium batteries in our electric vehicles to our ability to generate energy from the sun, wind and waves LEM is focused on the green energy markets. With a focus on Europe and assets in innovation-rich Scandinavia, Leading Edge Materials is ideally placed to play a pivotal role in the sustainable supply of critical technology materials.

About Ångström Advanced Battery Centre (ÅABC),

The Ångström Advanced Battery Centre is the largest battery research group in the Nordic region and is led by Professor Kristina Edström, Uppsala University in Uppsula.  The lab has all necessary equipment for available for the project including furnaces for purification, mills for powder processing, microscopes (SEM and TEM), spectroscopic methods, XRD, a small pilot line for electrode production and battery manufacturing, and more than 200 channels for cycling batteries testing. The group can manufacture battery cells ranging from button cells, Swagelock cells, pouch cells to 18560 size battery cells. ÅABC battery group recently received SEK 27 million from the Battery Fund, a research and development program focused on battery reuse and recycling, and on vehicle batteries, run jointly by the Swedish Energy Agency and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

About Vinnova
Vinnova is a Swedish government agency working under the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and acts as the national contact agency for the EU Framework Program for R&D. They promote sustainable growth by funding needs-driven research and stimulating collaborations between companies, universities, research institutes and public sector.

The TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange), accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

The qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 for the Woxna project, Blair Way, President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company, and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.

Forward-Looking Information. This news release may contain forward-looking statements and information based on current expectations. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements. Such statements include but are not limited to, the Company's expectations regarding graphite production at Woxna, the Company's preliminary economic assessment on Woxna is no longer current or valid as a result of the filing of a new NI 43-101 Technical Report effective March 24, 2015, and the Company has no plans to complete a new preliminary economic assessment, a pre-feasibility or feasibility study on the project, as such there is an increased risk of technical and economic failure for the Woxna graphite project; unexpected geological conditions; exploration activities to advance other critical material projects of the Company for energy storage markets, delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities.  Although such statements are based on management's reasonable assumptions, there are risk factors which could cause the Company's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information contained herein. All forward-looking information herein is qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement, and the Company disclaims any obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking information or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking information contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, except as required by law.

SOURCE Leading Edge Materials



Contact
1.604.685.9316 or info@leadingedgematerials.com, www.leadingedgematerials.com
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