The Quebec government has issued a Ministerial environmental decree authorising project developer Nouveau Monde to build what is set to become the Western world’s largest graphite mine.
The environmental decree authorises the Matawinie mine to produce 100 000 t/y of graphite material.
Nouveau Monde, in which the Pallinghurst Group has invested, said on Wednesday that early works at Matawinie would start in the second quarter and full construction would be launched in the third quarter of the year.
“Today’s milestone is something we have worked towards as a team since the outset in 2011. After a decade of meticulous planning, we can now commence the mine construction of our world-class Matawinie graphite project,” said Nouveau Monde chairperson Arne Frandsen.
Located about 150 km north of Montréal, the company’s deposit constitutes the largest projected graphite operation in North America and Europe and is expected to become the world’s first all-electric openpit mine.
“The creation of the Western World’s largest anode-quality graphite mine will assist positioning Québec as the prime location for the North American battery materials hub – supplying the continent with the critical anode and cathode materials required for the batteries needed for the global electrification of mobility,” said Frandsen.
Nouveau Monde states that it is working towards developing an operation that can provide the volumes required by major automotive original-equipment manufacturers and battery manufacturers. The most recent estimates indicate Matawinie has 120.3-million tonnes of resources in the combined measured and indicated categories with a 4.26% grade.
“With this green light to launch our Matawinie project, we plan to bring to market a responsibly extracted high-purity graphite to supply the EV [electric vehicle] and energy storage sectors with a local and sustainable alternative. Doing so will position Nouveau Monde as a leading anode material provider for decades to come, creating opportunities and unlocking value for all parties involved,” commented Nouveau Monde president and CEO Eric Desaulniers, who founded the company ten years ago.
Demand for graphite is forecast to rise sharply in years to come on the back of increased EV adoption and energy storage growth.