Urbix, Inc. CEO, Chairman & co-founder, Nico Cuevas (right) greets Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) at the Urbix pilot plant at Mesa, Arizona.

On July 9th, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) toured Urbix, Inc. in Mesa, Arizona, the only environmentally friendly U.S.-based processor of natural graphite in the country. During his visit, Senator Kelly met with the Urbix leadership team and workers at the facility. The tour showcased Urbix’s proprietary methods and technology for purifying and spheroidizing natural graphite, an essential component in lithium-ion batteries. Senator Kelly and the Urbix leadership team also discussed graphite’s increasing importance to the country’s economic future and national security interests, as well as the environmental benefits of processing natural graphite in the U.S. instead of China.

America faces intense competition from geopolitical rivals to secure reliable and sustained access to critical minerals like graphite.


From left: Urbix Director of Operations, Luis Olaguibel; CEO & Chairman, Nico Cuevas, Executive Vice-President, Anthony J. Parkinson; and Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) tour the Urbix pilot plant.

“We are fortunate to have leaders like Senator Kelly who are focused on securing supply chains for critical minerals to strengthen the country’s economic future and national security,” said Nico Cuevas, CEO, and Chairman of Urbix Inc. “We are in a competition to lead the global economy and the energy transition that is happening through increased demand for advanced batteries. It is not too late to make the investments and policy changes required to encourage innovation and investment in the industries that will make U.S. companies more competitive in the global market.”

Senator Kelly is also working to address climate change and is a champion of research and development to identify technologies that reduce emissions and make renewable energy more cost-effective. Following his visit, Senator Kelly expressed his support for graphite processing’s critical role in building the 21st century economy.

“Arizona is home to the high tech workforce needed to enhance the supply chain and help our nation achieve its renewable energy goals,” said Senator Mark Kelly. “Homegrown companies like Urbix are innovators in the important effort to maintain American energy independence and break our reliance on China for critical minerals. By making investments in infrastructure, including electric vehicle infrastructure, and in parts of the technology supply chain including microchips, we can continue to grow Arizona’s tech leadership.”

Cuevas added: “We want to thank Senator Kelly for his visit and support for American companies powering the future economy. We look forward to continuing our work to ensure Arizona will be a national leader in driving America’s energy transition. ◊