Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Drill platform at Graphite One's Graphite Creek project in western Alaska. Credit: Graphite One An American mining start-up gained the powerful endorsement of the U.S. Defense Department last month, when it received a $37.5 million grant to develop what could be the country’s largest graphite deposit, close to Nome, Alaska. The company, Graphite One (Alaska) Inc., aims to be America’s first domestic miner of graphite, a mineral that’s vital for producing electric vehicle batteries and is used widely in the defense sector. But Graphite One’s fortunes will likely depend on the assistance of a familiar rival: China. That’s because a key advisor aiding the company’s plans to build a domestic battery anode factory is a Chinese firm founded by executives with deep ties to China’s battery industry. In May 2022, Graphite One announced an agreement with Guizhou-based Sunrise New Energy Material Co. — also known as Sunrise Guizhou — that will see the Chinese firm share expertise and technology for the “design, construction and operation” of Graphite One’Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.