Graphex and Northern Graphite partner on large-scale graphite processing facility site evaluations in Québec
13 January 2023
Graphex Technologies LLC, the US subsidiary of Graphex Group Limited, and Northern Graphite Corporation announced that Graphex will participate in Northern’s previously announced selection process for a site suitable for the construction of a large-scale graphite processing facility in Baie-Comeau, approximately 420 km north-east of Québec City.
The plant is planned to supply coated spherical graphite anode material to the EV/battery markets in North America and beyond. On 21 December 2022, Northern and Graphex announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate a joint venture agreement to build a North American mine-to-battery supply chain.
Northern and Graphex will work closely with the Department of Innovation and Development for the Manicouagan/Baie-Comeau region of Québec to identify and evaluate sites that could accommodate processing facilities to produce up to 200,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of battery anode material where they could conduct their proposed joint venture.
Northern would provide security of raw mineral supply (graphite concentrate) and it is contemplated that Graphex would license and/or contribute its technology, plans and expertise for building and operating the plant(s).
Construction of the proposed battery anode material plant would be subject to identification and acquisition of an appropriate site, receipt of regulatory approvals and financing.
The Manicouagan/Baie-Comeau region presents advantageous infrastructure and operating conditions for the joint venture to achieve its objectives, including ample renewable energy (hydro power), greenfield and brownfield locations, a deep-sea international port, and most importantly a welcoming local, regional, and national political and financial environment with favorable incentive potential.
The current supply picture for natural graphite in North America is marked both by a significant shortfall in the availability of non-China-sourced graphite raw material that is needed to meet projected demand, and the complete absence of experienced commercial-scale downstream processing to transform that raw material into battery-grade anode material.
The collaboration between Northern and Graphex seeks to solve both issues on an industry-wide level by providing OEMs and battery makers with a transparent, ESG compliant supply of quality product needed to meet current and future demand.
Graphex has a decade-long history of processing mine concentrates and produces 10,000 tpy of high yield, high quality battery anode material. Graphex is the only current commercial downstream processor of natural graphite into battery anode material that intends to develop an anode material processing plant in North America.
Northern owns the only graphite mine producing at commercial scale in North America (Lac des Iles), with a current output of 15,000 tpy of graphite mine concentrate. It also has three development projects with the resources to produce more than 100,000 tpy by 2025 and 300,000 tpy by 2027.