Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc is planning to build a demonstration plant in the community of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec. It will have a capacity to produce 1,000 t/y of natural graphite concentrate using mine representative mineralization from Nouveau Monde’s West Zone deposit, part of its Matawinie graphite property. The plant is expected to be operational in the first half of 2018 providing related permits and financing are received in a timely manner. The goals of this operation are the following:
- Produce graphite concentrate aimed at the traditional industrial market as well as value-added products including purified spheronized graphite used in the expanding lithium ion battery market
- Validate and optimize the technological choices used during ore processing in advance of the commercial scale construction planned in 2020
- Qualify and homologate our natural graphite products for potential North American, European and Asian customers with the goal of securing an offtake agreement for the commercial operation.
Furthermore, Nouveau Monde has recently established its product marketing strategy based on a detailed study produced by a group of in-house experts who hold extensive experience in natural graphite marketing and mining in North America, Brazil and China. One notable contributor to this market study, Armando Farhate, brings over 25 years of professional experience, including six years in the graphite industry, in positions such as Managing Director, COO and Vice President of Sales. Farhate was employed by numerous national and multinational companies including Imerys Graphite & Carbon and Nacional de Grafite. Nouveau Monde experts listed a total of over 100 potential customers from around the globe. This thorough study was based on the West Zone deposit flake size distribution and the concentrate purity detailed in the press release dated April 12, 2017, as well as in the PEA published in June 2016 (press release dated June 22, 2016). The potential customers will be contacted in the upcoming months to provide product parameters and needs in term of natural graphite material and purified spheronized graphite.
Eric Desaulniers, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde commented, “Nouveau Monde has the advantage of having excellent graphite concentrate flake size distribution and high purity grades after a simple flotation process. Different flake sizes are best suited for different applications. So flake size distribution is very important as it lets you access the largest customer base, thereby increasing your chances of effective market penetration and reducing dependence on the growth of any one industry.
“Our deposit is located in the same geological province and only 120km away from the depleting Imerys Lac-Des-Iles (Qc) mine which has serviced customers in North America for years. This demonstration Plant will enable us to reach out to customers and offer them a reliable, long term and cost effective North American alternative right in the window when they will be looking for a new supplier for both industrial and lithium ion battery applications.”
In 2015, Nouveau Monde discovered a graphite deposit on its Tony claim block, part of its wholly owned Matawinie graphite property. This discovery resulted in the publishing of a PEA, completed according to NI 43-101 guidelines, in June of 2016. This study demonstrated strong economics with a planned production of 50,000 t/y of high purity flake graphite over a period of 25.7 years which is expected to provide a solid operational margin and relatively low capital expenditures (press release dated June 22, 2016). The Mineral Resource Estimate has since been updated, the current resource stands at 32.9 Mt grading 4.50% graphitic carbon (Cg) for the Indicated Category and 0.2 Mt grading 4.84 % Cg in the Inferred Category. The project is located in the Saint-Michel-des-Saints area, some 120 km north of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It has direct access to all needed infrastructure, labour as well as green and affordable hydroelectricity.