Northern Graphite seeks battery anode material plant site

Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve Territory. Northern Graphite map

Northern Graphite (TSXV:NGC; OTCQB:NGPHF) and Innovation et Development Manicouagan (IDM) at Baie-Comeau, Que., have entered an agreement to evaluate sites for the construction of a planned 200,000 t/y battery anode material (BAM) plant in the industrial port zone of Baie-Comeau.

Northern Graphite claims 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. 

According to the company, 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.

According 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 m2 in size and have direct rail and port access as well as green hydroelectric power that would result in one of the lowest carbon dioxide footprints in the industry.

Baie-Comeau is located 400 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, the province of Quebec and the Canadian and U.S. governments. 

Construction of the proposed battery plant would be subject to identification and acquisition of an appropriate site, receipt of regulatory approvals and financing.

Northern’s CEO, Hugues Jacquemin, said downstream processing is capital and energy intensive and makes little sense for every graphite mine to develop its own capability and that Northern intends to build a large-scale “centre of excellence” based on its own production, but the participation of other graphite producers will be welcomed. 

“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 and battery makers with a transparent, ESG compliant supply of anode material to meet current and projected demand,” Jacquemin said. 

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