Commercial-scale micronisation and spheronisation equipment arrived at the Saint-Michel-des-Saints demonstration plant in December.
Nouveau Monde said now, with the first samples of spherical graphite, the performance of the secondary transformation process developed by its R&D team had been proven.
For almost two years, Nouveau Monde has been working with Hydro-Québec's Center of Excellence in Transportation Electrification and Energy Storage (CETEES). This partnership supports the development of Nouveau Monde's process to produce anode material for lithium-ion batteries.
In the coming weeks, Nouveau Monde will continue to calibrate and optimise the micronisation and spheronisation line to offer high-purity pre-qualification samples to a variety of potential customers.
Micronisation and spheronisation are two essential steps to transform graphite concentrate into an anode material for use in lithium-ion batteries, a market sector that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, the company explained.
"A phased deployment with demonstration activities has let us establish the remarkable quality of the graphite in our deposit and the robustness of our technological approach while reducing the risk for our shareholders and business partners," Nouveau Monde president and CEO Eric Desaulniers said.
Nouveau Monde is developing the Matawinie graphite mining project in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, 150km north of Montreal. It already operates a demonstration producing concentrated flake graphite, which is being sent to potential North American and international clients for the qualification of its products.