Mr. Hugues Jacquemin reports
NORTHERN GRAPHITE ENTERS AGREEMENT TO SELECT A SITE FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NORTH AMERICA'S LARGEST BATTERY ANODE MATERIAL PLANT
Northern Graphite Corp. has entered into an agreement with Innovation et Development Manicouagan (IDM) at Baie-Comeau, Que., to evaluate sites for the construction of a planned 200,000-tonne-per-year (tpy) battery anode material (BAM) plant in the industrial port zone of Baie-Comeau. The plant would be one of the largest in the world and would convert graphite concentrate from the company's mines, as well as other producers, into anode material to supply existing and planned lithium-ion battery manufacturing plants throughout North America. Building a low-cost, large-scale conversion facility is a key component of Northern's strategy to empower the electric vehicle industry by creating an end-to-end North American graphite supply chain from the mine to the battery.
Hugues Jacquemin, Northern's chief executive officer, commented: "Downstream processing is capital and energy intensive. It makes little sense for every graphite mine to develop its own capability. Northern intends to build a large-scale centre of excellence based on our own production, but the participation of other graphite producers will be welcomed." He added: "The supply picture for natural graphite is marked by a significant dependence on China for both graphite mine production and downstream processing. Our proposed plant would solve both issues on an industry-wide scale by providing OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and battery makers with a transparent, ESG-compliant [environmental, social and governance] supply of anode material to meet current and projected demand."
Pursuant to the agreement, Northern has a 12-month period to evaluate several sites around Baie-Comeau to determine their technical and economic suitability for the proposed BAM plant. The sites range between 200,000 and 450,000 square metres in size and have direct rail and port access, as well as green hydroelectric power, that would result in one of the lowest CO2 (carbon dioxide) footprints in the industry. Quebec's industrial rate for large power customers is one of the most competitive in the world. Baie-Comeau is located 400 kilometres (km) from Quebec City in the Cote-Nord economic region and has direct rail and road access to the rest of North America, as well as a deep-water, all-season port. It is eligible for Plan Nord incentives and other assistance is potentially available under programs offered by the Manicouagan region, Quebec, and the Canadian and United States governments. Construction of the proposed battery plant would be subject to identification and acquisition of an appropriate site, receipt of regulatory approvals and financing.
Marcel Furlong, prefect of the Manicouagan regional county municipality (RCM), commented: "The Baie-Comeau industrial port area has a lot of space, as well as numerous energy and logistical resources, thus facilitating the establishment of a project in the battery and anode material industry. The Manicouagan RCM was also recognized by UNESCO in 2007 as the 14th and largest world biosphere reserve in Canada. For the past 15 years, the region has been able to develop relations with various stakeholders in its territory, facilitating dialogue with businesses and allowing the development of important industrial projects such as the one proposed by Northern Graphite. We can only welcome this collaborative agreement and commit ourselves with confidence to the success of the BAM project in our territory."
About Northern Graphite Corp.
Northern is a Canadian company that is focused on becoming a world leader in producing natural graphite and upgrading it into high-value products critical to the green economy, including anode material for lithium ion batteries/EVs (electric vehicles), fuel cells and graphene, as well as advanced industrial technologies.
Northern is the only significant graphite-producing company in North America and will become the third largest outside of China when its Namibian operations come back on line. The company also has two large-scale development projects, Bissett Creek in Ontario and Okanjande in Namibia, that will be a source of continued production growth in the future. All projects have battery-quality graphite and are located close to infrastructure in politically stable countries.
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