Nano One Materials (TSX:NANO,FWB:LBMB,OTC:NNOMF) is a clean technology company with a patented process for the low-cost production of high-performance cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries. The company aims to establish its technology as the leading platform for the global production of green battery materials through licensing and joint venture agreements. The company is led by a highly experienced management team with decades of experience in financing, capital growth, technology management, metals and mining, and the sciences.
Lithium-ion batteries have a wide range of valuable applications in the green economy, including in electric vehicles, energy storage systems and consumer electronics. North American companies with a domestic supply chain and local processing capabilities for raw materials needed for the green economy may present an exciting opportunity for investors.
Coated Single Crystal Cathode Materials Explained
Nano One’s patented One-Pot Process is a proven, efficient and scalable manufacturing technology for producing cathode materials used in advanced lithium-ion batteries. The One-Pot Process streamlines the production process which significantly reduces costs and increases battery performance and durability compared to the standard manufacturing process. The company’s M2CAM (metal direct to cathode active material) technology allows cathode materials to be made directly from metals rather than sulphates. This reduces steps, waste and costs from the supply chain while increasing margins allowing a more efficient and sustainable process.
Nano One’s M2CAM technology is environmentally sustainable as it produces less greenhouse gas, no waste, uses flexible feedstock, uses less energy and uses 60 percent less water than the standard processing method. The material that is produced also costs four4 to five5 times less to ship due to the lighter weight of around five5 times less than the standard material. This results in potential savings of thousands of dollars per tonne and higher margins.
The One-Pot Process has 27 patents issued in the US, Canada, Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan and more than 55 patents currently pending. Nano One has built a demonstration pilot plant that proves scalability and provides Nano One with the ability to make volumes of materials to engage in larger testing programs with strategic partners.
Nano One has established partnerships with multiple global industry leaders like Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW3); Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO); BASF (ETR:BAS); Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração (CBMM), a world leader in the production and commercialization of Niobium products; Euro Manganese Inc. (TSXV:EMN), a battery materials company focused on advancing the development of the Chvaletice Manganese Project.
Nano One also received aggregate funding of approximately $23 million from several Canadian Government groups such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Innovation Clean Energy Fund of British Columbia, IRAP and ASIP.
In 2022, Nano One and Euro Manganese Inc. successfully demonstrated the production of cathode materials made directly from Euro Manganese’s electrolytic manganese metal using Nano One’s One-Pot process. Euro Manganese’s Chvaletice Manganese Project has been successfully validated as feedstock for Nano One’s patented One-Pot and M2CAM cathode production technologies, essential in lowering the cost, complexity and environmental footprint of using metal sulphates in cathode production.
The company also announced the transformation of the Candiac lithium iron phosphate (LFP) facility to the One-Pot process, following the completion of the acquisition announced on November 1, 2022. The company will be commencing One-Pot trials to provide the company with valuable insights for the next stage of trials, pilot production and advanced engineering.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) awarded Nano One with $10 million in non-dilutive support to help fast-track and convert North America’s only LFP plant to pilot the One-Pot Process. The funding also allows the company to leverage the high-quality acquisition of LFP plant and amplifies expansion plans and accelerate strategic growth and offtake opportunities with consortium partners Rio Tinto, Lithion Battery Inc., and undisclosed auto OEM.
Nano One’s One-Pot Process streamlines the production process, which significantly reduces waste, costs and increases performance compared to the standard manufacturing process. The process improves battery capacity, charge and cycling.
The standard polycrystalline manufacturing process involves clusters of crystals that break apart from the stress of repeating charging which fractures the protective coating. This exposes the inner crystals to side reactions that reduce range, life, and charge.
Nano One’s One-Pot Process produces individually coated single nanocrystal cathodes that form in one step and resist fractures. This results in better battery durability and performance which will allow a battery to last longer and go further. Comprehensive engineering studies are underway to define the optimal throughput of one commercial line and determine how many lines can be placed on the land next door to the existing Candiac plant. The One-Pot Process creates a material that can be fired in the kiln in hours, instead of days like the conventional process, saving energy and steps.
Stephen Campbell, PhD, CSci, CChem, MRSC, CTO – Nano One
Dan Blondal – CEO, Director and Founder
Dan Blondal has more than 30 years of experience as a professional engineer. During his career, he has managed high-growth technology and been involved in materials handling, medical devices, industrial printing, nuclear fusion and materials science. Blondal brings significant experience in systems engineering, physics and business. Blondal was the product and technology manager at Creo and Kodak where he led strategically vital initiatives. These initiatives were valued at $20 million annually to leverage software, laser and chemical systems for high-quality printing.
Dr. Stephen Campbell – Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Stephen Campbell has more than 25 years of experience leading industrial automotive research in electrochemical systems. Campbell served seven years as principal scientist at Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp. Campbell also held key roles at Ballard Power Systems as principal scientist and senior scientist between 1994 and 2008. Campbell has more than 20 patents to his name and has 20 years of hands-on experience in industrial research developing new technologies through to series production for the automotive sector. He received his Ph.D. in semiconductor electrochemistry from the University of Southampton in 1987 and completed his BSc (Hons.) 1st class in physical sciences at Coventry Polytechnic in 1984.
Denis Geoffroy – Chief Commercialization Officer
Denis Geoffroy is an executive with more than 25 years of experience in the field of lithium batteries. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Laval University and then joined Argo-Tech Productions, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec responsible for developing Lithium-Polymer batteries, the first commercial version of solid-state lithium batteries. He then participated in the start-up of the LiFePO4 cathode material (LFP) industry at Phostech Lithium, where he worked for 17 years as technical director, chief operating officer or general manager, under various entities (Phostech Lithium, Sud-Chemie, Clariant and Johnson Matthey). It was under his leadership that the Candiac plant, LFP’s only commercial plant in America, was built. Geoffroy moved in 2019 to support Lithion Recycling in its start-up and he started supporting Nano One in its commercialization efforts since 2021 and became chief commercialization officer with the company on November 1st, 2022
Alex Holmes – Chief Operating Officer
Alex Holmes has spent more than 15 years as a senior executive with several public companies. Most recently, he served as the CEO of Plateau Energy Metals, which is a public company advancing a world-class hard rock lithium project in tandem with a uranium asset in Peru. Prior to this, Holmes co-founded a technology start-up where he led it from prototype to commercialization in a short period. He was also a partner and co-founder of Oxygen Capital Corp. where he led the business development for all affiliated companies. Holmes graduated with distinction from The Business School at the City University of London with an M.Sc. in investment management.
Adam Johnson – Senior Vice-president External Affairs
Adam Johnson brings over 20 years of experience advising corporate and government leaders. Over his career, he has worked on public policy, government relations and communications for some of Canada’s leading energy, infrastructure and transportation companies as well as key associations. He has helped with large development projects, secured the support of governments and implemented effective community engagement.
Before joining Nano One, he was a senior partner at Earnscliffe Strategies–one of Canada’s leading strategic communications and government relations firms. Johnson has worked in the Government of Canada, serving as a director of Parliamentary Affairs to a Minister of Industry. Selected by his peers, he served as the founding president of the Public Affairs Association of Canada – BC (PAAC-BC)
Paul Guedes – Director, Capital Markets
Paul Guedes has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, fund manager and senior executive with several public companies. He was president of a family-owned construction company for over 10 years before moving to the public markets. Guedes’ key focus over the last 14 years has been centered around renewable energy and climate change in industries like wind energy, wave energy, biofuels, hydrogen and carbon credits. Guedes received his Bachelor of Commerce from the Michael DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.
Paul Matysek – Chairman and Director
Paul Matysek is a serial entrepreneur, geochemist and geologist with over 40 years of experience in the mining industry. Since 2004, Matysek has been either a CEO or chairman. He has primarily focused on the exploration, development and sale of five publicly listed companies with an aggregate worth of over $2 billion. Most recently, he was an executive chairman of Lithium X Energy Corp. which was sold to Nextview New Energy Lion Hong Kong Limited (“Nextview”) for $265 million in cash. He was awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Mining & Resources in September 2018.
Dr. Joseph Guy – Director
Dr. Joseph Guy is the president of Patent Filing Specialist Inc. and a patent agent focusing on complex technologies including material science, electronic components, pharmaceuticals and medical products. He has more than 23 years of experience prosecuting patents and serving as an expert witness on intellectual property matters. Guy was awarded a PhD. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in physical inorganic chemistry with a focus on organometallic complexes. Guy has authored numerous references in peer-reviewed journals. He has written and prosecuted over 1,000 U.S. and foreign patent applications with more than 300 issued US patents and numerous foreign patents.
Lyle Brown – Director and Audit Committee Chair
Lyle Brown is a CPA and CA and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Brown has been a partner at Culver & Co. in Vancouver, British Columbia since 1991. Culver & Co. is an accounting firm that serves clients in a wide range of industries. Brown is familiar with the reporting requirements of public companies. He has served on numerous boards of directors for both private and public companies.
Gord Kukec – Lead Director
Gord Kukec works with senior management to develop and implement commercial strategies as well as annual business plans. He has more than 30 years of experience in senior executive roles. Kukec’s responsibilities included innovating and adapting commercial and IT strategies at various international Canadian corporations. Since 2010, Kukec has been an independent advisor, consultant and board member. Kukec has focused on how emerging environmental and information technology developments, such as climate change and cybersecurity, impact business transformation, corporate strategy and board governance. He currently sits on the board of BC Ferry Services Inc. and Solshare Energy Corp. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Calgary and an MBA from Queen’s University. Kukec is certified in Governance of Enterprise Information Technology from ISACA (CGEIT) and is a holder of the Institute of Corporate Directors Director designation (ICD.D).
Carla Matheson – Independent Director
Carla Matheson is a chartered professional accountant (CPA, CA) with over ten years of experience in a variety of industries, specializing in business development, mergers and acquisitions and financial reporting. Throughout her career on both the buy and sell sides, Matheson has provided dynamic solutions on all aspects of finance, accounting and business-related issues for both public and private companies, having closed 30+ majority acquisitions, 50+ minority/venture type transactions, raised over $150 million in capital via both debt and equity markets and deployed over $60 million in capital.
Lisa Skakun – Independent Director
Lisa Skakun is a lawyer and executive with over 20 years of experience in a variety of private and public industries. Currently the chief legal, regulatory and corporate affairs officer of Coast Capital Savings Federal Credit Union, Skakun is responsible for all legal, mergers and acquisitions, public affairs, compliance, financial crimes risk management and corporate governance functions. Prior to Coast Capital Savings, she was the chief legal & administrative officer at Mogo Finance Technology, a TSX-listed fintech company, from 2015-2018. Skakun has her LLB from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Laws degree in business law from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, and also holds her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She is the recipient of the Lexpert Zenith Award: Celebrating Women in Law; the Association of Women in Finance’s PEAK award for Rising Star; the National Post Award for Tomorrow’s Leader at the Western Canada General Counsel Awards; and has been named to Canada’s Diversity 50 list by the Canadian Board Diversity Council.
Dr. Yuan Gao – Strategic Advisor
Dr. Yuan Gao is an accomplished executive with a strong technical background and a successful track record in leading and growing businesses throughout the lithium-ion battery supply chain. Gao is also an internationally recognized expert in lithium-ion battery materials with over a hundred patents issued around the world, dozens of journal publications and his innovations are at the core of today’s lithium-ion batteries. He has joined Nano One Advisory Committee members, Joe Lowry, Robert Morris and Dr. Byron Gates.
Gao is the vice-chairman of the board of Pulead Technology, a respected producer of cathodes for lithium-ion batteries, having served as president and CEO from May 2014 to Sept 2019. Gao completed a PhD in physics from the University of British Columbia and did post-doctoral research on lithium metal oxides at Simon Fraser University. He has also completed an executive education program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Frank Fannon – Strategic Advisor
In May 2018, Frank Fannon was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as the inaugural assistant secretary of State for Energy Resources, a position he held until January 2021. As “America’s Energy Diplomat,” he led whole-of-government initiatives in the Indo-Pacific, the Americas, Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Middle East to advance free, open markets, and resilient responsible supply chains. Fannon also established the multi-country Energy Resources Governance Initiative to share global mining best practices and improve governance.
Fannon is currently the managing director of Fannon Global Advisors, a strategic advisory focused on geopolitics, the energy transition, and market transformation. He is also a non-resident senior advisor at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a visiting senior fellow at the Center for Technology Diplomacy at Purdue.