Canada-based Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG) is commissioning its new anode material coating line with a nameplate capacity of 2,000 tonnes per annum “tpa). Completing the Company’s integrated anode material production, from ore to battery material, the coating module was built over H1-2022 to complement NMG’s portfolio of advanced materials.
The ultimate beneficiation step, coating is instrumental to battery technology. Coating helps create a stable electrolyte interface layer in the battery system and increase initial coulombic efficiency and discharge capacity, thus extending the battery performance over time.
With this addition, NMG now operates the only fully integrated North American natural graphite production and is positioned to provide customers with a variety of customizable high-purity advanced materials to meet their specifications, desired environmental footprint, and quality standards.
NMG’s scaled development plan has reached a significant milestone: Phase 1 now covers the full value chain! From extraction and concentration to advanced processing and battery testing in our laboratory, we have engineered processes, designed operations, and built facilities that demonstrate our proprietary technologies and production capability. This constitutes a springboard for executing our Phase 2 to develop what is projected to be North America’s largest fully integrated natural graphite operation. As an early mover, timing is superb for NMG considering the pressure battery and electric vehicles manufacturers are experiencing due to growth in demand for cleantech and limited raw materials.—Arne H Frandsen, Chair of NMG
NMG’s coating technology is projected to generate up to 25% energy reduction compared to the dominant manufacturing operations, with a minimal environmental footprint thanks to the access to clean hydropower and its strong ESG operational parameters.
The technology built in this Phase 1 is planned to be replicated and scaled up for the Phase-2 Bécancour Battery Material Plant, for a planned 42,000-tpa production at the commercial level. The company’s engineering team in collaboration with specialized firms have secured a technology that provides versatility for the use of different precursors as research and development advances.
Cold commissioning of the kiln and utilities is underway with NMG’s and the equipment’s supplier technical team onsite; hot commissioning is expected to start shortly after with the objective of processing the first tonne of material at the beginning of Q3-2022. The Company expects stable production by the end of Q3-2022 to support product qualification, operational optimization, and detailed engineering of the Phase 2 Bécancour Battery Material Plant.
Spherical purified graphite (SPG) extracted from the company’s Matawinie deposit and produced through its Phase-1 concentrator, shaping unit and purification facility, will be refined with a nano layer of carbon to qualify the material for anode application. Production of coated spherical purified graphite (CSPG) in commercial-like settings, with NMG’s ore, technology and facilities, further advances commercial discussions with potential customers with a view towards the completion of an offtake agreement.