The implantation and annealing conditions required to introduce and retain impurities in the graphite lattice have been studied using the backscattering-channeling technique. When highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) is implanted at room temperature, the damage caused by the implantation can be completely annealed by heating the sample to temperatures Ta ≳ 2500° C. As the temperature is raised, the first recrystallization (graphitization) step involving two-dimensional or in-plane ordering occurs for annealing temperatures in the range 1500° C ≲ Ta ≲ 2300° C. In this range, the impurities diffuse parallel to the basal planes and out of the sample. This ejection of the implanted species appears to be correlated with a decrease in the interplanar spacing of the graphite structure during the graphitization process. A second step of graphitization occurs at temperatures higher than 2300°C where three-dimensional or c-axis ordering takes place. However at these high temperatures all the impurities have already diffused out of the substrate. Retention of the impurities and simultaneous annealing of radiation defects can be achieved when the sample is implanted at an elevated temperature (200 < Ti < 800° C) and subsequently annealed at ∼ 2300°C. However this behavior depends on the implanted species; e.g., As ions are retained by the graphite lattice after post-hot-implantation annealing while no trace of Si implants can be found after the same implantation and annealing procedure.