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Building|Technology|Testing
Building|Technology|Testing
building|technology|testing

Tighter graphite markets put spotlight on Canadian producer

1st December 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The controls that China imposed for graphite exports have added new vigour to conversations with global suppliers, says Canadian producer Northern Graphite CEO Hugues Jacquemin.

He reports that customers who had been on the sidelines for much of the first half of the year became buyers again, as China, the world’s leading producer and exporter of graphite, reinstated electric vehicle subsidies and incentivised domestic demand.

Markets tightened further after China announced that it would start imposing controls on certain graphite exports for battery making as of December 1.

These developments have put the spotlight on Northern Graphite, which is the only natural graphite producer in North America.

The TSX-V-listed miner’s sales volumes increased by 28% during the third quarter of 2023, compared with the second quarter.

The firm generated revenue of C$4.9-million on 2 587 t of graphite sold at an average price of C$1 907/t.  Cash costs came to C$1 335/t.

The Lac des Iles (LDI) mine and plant were shut down for the second and third quarters of 2023 to preserve cash by selling down inventories.

The plant was restarted on October 30 and Northern Graphite currently plans to restart the mine in the spring of 2024 in order to meet increasing market demand.

Northern Graphite is also working toward building a 200 000 t/y battery anode material (BAM) plant in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.

Discussions are ongoing between automakers and EV battery manufacturers to secure long-term purchase agreements. In the third quarter, testing conducted by Heraeus Battery Technology demonstrated that BAM produced from LDI graphite samples has the potential to perform at or above the standards of commercially available reference materials.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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