In line with its strategy of full vertical integration, Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (TSX-V: NOU) (NYSE: NMG) is continuing to develop its advanced graphite transformation technologies to supply the Western battery and electric vehicle market with environmentally friendly anode material. Through the Technoclimat program and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies, the Government of Québec will provide the Company with financial leverage of up to CA$3.6 million for advanced graphite transformation projects.
Arne H Frandsen, NMG’s Chair of the Board, stated:
“In addition to having the required mineral resources for the energy transition, clean hydroelectricity, an established research ecosystem, and an attractive fiscal environment, Québec has been an exceptional partner throughout all stages of NMG’s development. The funding announced today will boost our manufacturing capabilities and battery materials expertise right here in the province to serve the growing EV market.”
Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President and CEO of NMG, said:
“By investing in our portfolio of technologies, we are shaking off our dependence on Chinese production lines and supporting the development of an environmentally responsible and ethical battery industry in the Western World. NMG is positioning itself at the forefront of this growing sector with its fully integrated mine-to-anode-material model, its ESG commitment, and its business relationships.”
Québec Minister Caroline Proulx and President & CEO Eric Desaulniers pose with members of NMG’s R&D team at the Company’s Phase-1 facilities during the announcement of the financial levers.
The Government of Québec is providing financial assistance of up to CA$3 million through its Technoclimat program, a public investment platform dedicated to innovation in energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. These funds will support the deployment of the coating technology at NMG’s Phase-1 operations and research and development (“R&D”) initiatives launched in partnership with Professor Philippe Ouzilleau, an expert in graphite materials engineering from McGill University, and his research team.
Coating reduces the specific surface area of purified spherical graphite and increases its electrochemical performance through the surface application of a nanoscale layer of amorphous carbon. As a complement to the funding received from the Government of Canada, this financial assistance will go toward NMG’s innovative coating technology that could reduce energy consumption by up to 25%, reduce the environmental footprint of its products, and provide versatility for different coating precursor sources for greater flexibility in production. Indeed, the project’s R&D component aims at developing a biomass-based coating material to replace traditional petroleum-based coatings which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the use of these petroleum precursors by up to 50%.
On a commercial scale similar to what is planned for the Bécancour Battery Material Plant (Phase 2), NMG’s Phase-1 coating module supports product qualification with battery manufacturers.
NMG’s choice of technology for its equipment and use of Québec’s clean energy to power its operations will reduce both current and projected GHG emissions associated with the coating of anode material. NMG is already developing anode material with an industry-leading low environmental footprint and continues to optimize its processes and integrate environmentally friendly measures into its operations and R&D projects to further improve its environmental profile.
The FRQNT is providing NMG with two new grants totalling up to CA$600,000 for the material production of quality graphite with a low environmental impact for the lithium-ion battery sector.
In collaboration with Professor Lionel Roué from the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (« INRS ») and Professor Philippe Ouzilleau from McGill University, NMG intends to develop a series of high electrochemical performance graphite-based composites by valorizing residual materials from NMG’s process as well as bio-sourced materials. The Company will also work with Professors Gervais Soucy and Jocelyn Veilleux of the University of Sherbrooke on advanced graphite transformation technologies based on high-performance ecological thermal processes.
NMG intends to develop a high-performance composite series by beneficiating residual materials. The Company will also work with Professor Gervais Soucy and Professor Jocelyn Veilleux from the Université de Sherbrooke on an advanced graphite transformation technology using a thermal plasma reactor.
NMG has developed an R&D portfolio targeting the next generation of lithium-ion battery materials. The Québec government’s leadership in the strategy to develop critical and strategic minerals reinforces NMG’s business plan and supports the deployment of a dynamic and high-performance battery industry to supply the Western market.
Nouveau Monde Graphite is striving to become a key contributor to the sustainable energy revolution. The Company is working towards developing a fully integrated source of carbon-neutral battery anode material in Québec, Canada for the growing lithium-ion and fuel cell markets. With low-cost operations and enviable ESG standards, NMG aspires to become a strategic supplier to the world’s leading battery and automobile manufacturers, providing high-performing and reliable advanced materials while promoting sustainability and supply chain traceability.
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