Nouveau Monde has completed a detailed engineering study and procured equipment for CSPG production at its plant in Bécancour, Quebec, which will process high-grade graphite concentrate from the company's deposit in Matawinie, a county in the same province.
The first phase of CSPG production involves installing a coating line, with a planned capacity of up to 2,000 t/yr to be reached at the plant in the first quarter of 2022. The coating line will transform spherical and flake graphite purified at the same facility.
The capacity of the main equipment selected for this production line could potentially be tripled through an upgrade in the medium term, said the company. This is expected to also significantly reduce the future investments required once full-scale commercial operations commence at the Phase-2 facilities in Bécancour.
"Ongoing commercial discussions with the end-users have confirmed the importance of coated products that are ready for use in lithium-ion battery anodes as part of our international growth strategy," said Eric Desaulniers, president and chief executive of Nouveau Monde.
Nouveau has received government support to progress its integrated project, which is based on a current 25.5-year minelife at its Matawinie graphite deposit, 150km north of Montreal.
The company plans to complete a feasibility study in 2021 for commercial-scale operations, targeting an initial 40,000tpa of anode material with the option to reach 100,000tpa as demand increases in the battery and speciality markets.