Graphite is a mineral that naturally occurs in metamorphic rock in different continentes of the world, including Asia, South America and some parts of North America. It is formed as a result of the reduction of sedimentar carbon compounds during metamorphism.
Contrary to common belief, the chemical bonds in graphite are actually stronger than those that make up diamond. However, what defines the difference in hardness of the two compounds is the lattice structure of the carbono atoms contained within; Diamonds containing three dimensional lattice bonds (layers of carbono sheets). While within each layer of grafite the carbon atoms contain very strong bonds, the layers are able to slide across each other, making grafite a softer, more malleable material.