Graphite production starts with the mining industry. This means that the graphite suppliers which supply other industries with the raw materials they need, must themselves look for reliable sources of mined graphite.
The world's single largest producer of graphite by far is China, which produces at least 70% of all the graphite mined in the entire world. About 70% of this is amorphous (fine) graphite with the rest being crystalline flake graphite. While China has long been an important exporter of graphite, it is facing a number of challenges related to its mining operations. In very simple terms, its mining industry is in serious need of modernization. China does, however, appear to be willing to address these challenges.