A Canadian company has announced plans to invest $435 million and hire 160 people to supply graphite needed to make lithium-ion batteries, like those made for electric vehicles.

Graphite One Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, said in a news release that it plans to begin construction within the next three years of a facility on land near Niles that the U.S. Government once used to stockpile minerals and other materials considered critical to the defense of the country.

Graphite, a form of carbon, is used to make terminals on Lithium-ion batteries.

The Trumbull County facility will manufacture synthetic materials until a source of natural graphite becomes available from the company’s G1 AK’s Graphite Creek Project near Nome, Alaska, according to the news release.

Graphite One has entered into a land lease agreement for a 50-year term, with an option to purchase the property once known as the Warren Depot.

Until the government abandoned the property, the 160-acre secure site was used to store 25 different types of materials including chrome ore, lead, zinc, rubber, mercury, and graphite since 1959.

“It’s great to come full circle, this site also known as the old Warren Depot included graphite in the National Defense Stockpile more than 30 years ago, the last time the U.S. actually mined graphite,” said Anthony Huston, President and CEO of G1. “Ohio is the perfect home for the second link in our strategy to build a 100% U.S.-based advanced graphite supply chain – from mining to refining to recycling.  The U.S., simply cannot maintain a 21st Century tech-driven economy without Critical Minerals like graphite.”

The property has been processed through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Voluntary Action Program, certifying that the land does not need further cleanup.

Graphite One executives say the site is in the heart of the automobile industry, with ample low-cost electricity produced from renewable energy sources. It is accessible by road and rail, with nearby barging facilities.

The company says it will produce 25,000 metric tons of battery-ready graphite anode material, with plans to ramp up production to 100,000 tons per year.

The company says it is currently considering various project financing options.