Nouveau Monde Graphite has awarded SNC-Lavalin, in partnership with Seneca and Boucher-Lachance Architects, the contract for detailed engineering and procurement services for the construction of its concentrator as part of its Matawinie graphite project, in Quebec, Canada.
Engineering work is already underway to complete priority activities by the end of the December quarter of 2019, including the process review, a Class 2 estimate, and a risk and opportunity assessment to optimise infrastructure design and generate savings, NMG said.
In 2015, Nouveau Monde discovered a graphite deposit on its Matawinie property, located in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, 150 km north of Montréal. It completed a feasibility study in 2018, which revealed strong economics with projected high-quality graphite concentrate production level of 100,000 t/y over a 26-year period.
Eric Desaulniers, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde, said: “With an impressive track record in concentrator design, procurement and project management in Quebec, the selected firms will facilitate the commissioning of commercial operations to supply the market with high-quality graphite.”
The entire project will be carried out in virtual design & construction (VDC), enabling integrated and dynamic modelling of the building information modelling (BIM) engineering for the concentrator, according to NMG.
“This innovative platform will facilitate the transfer from engineering to construction and then to operation,” the company added.
NMG’s master team, part of the management team and composed of senior specialists with several decades of experience each, will act as experts to validate the engineering, the procurement strategy and the technical specifications for the equipment, it said.
The engineering work will also take advantage of process optimisations identified at the Matawinie demonstration plant (pictured), which has been operational for one year. With a few hundred tonnes of graphite concentrate produced to date, the operation has demonstrated exceptional ore quality and a high-performance process to achieve a graphite purity of 97% on average and up to 99% for the largest flakes, according to NMG.
Nouveau Monde leverages this production, which is segregated into several granulometric categories ranging from flakes of more than 0.3 mm (+50 mesh) to the finest products of less than 0.1 mm (-150 mesh), to supply potential customers with samples so they can test the concentrate and confirm their commercial intentions. The demonstration plant will also be the preferred training platform for future Nouveau Monde employees to accelerate the start-up of operations thanks to process knowledge and hands-on experience with similar equipment.
Desaulniers concluded: “Nouveau Monde’s mining project has really taken off in recent months now that we have a solid foundation for our Matawinie graphite project. Our demonstration plant has validated the effectiveness of our treatment process, which is now being optimised by our team of experts in anticipation of the commercial plant. Next year promises more achievements as we complete the design of our operation, reserve key equipment and crystallise our customer base.”