Graphex Technologies LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of Graphex Group Limited (NYSE American: GRFX | HKSE: 6128) (collectively “Graphex”) and Northern Graphite Corporation (NGC:TSX-V, NGPHF:OTCQB, FRA:0NG, XSTU:0NG) (“Northern”), today announce that Graphex will participate in Northern’s previously announced selection process (January 10, 2023) for a site suitable for the construction of a large-scale graphite processing facility in Baie-Comeau. The plant is planned to supply coated spherical graphite anode material to the EV/battery markets in North America and beyond. On December 21, 2022 Northern and Graphex announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent to negotiate a joint venture agreement to build a North American mine-to-battery supply chain.
Northern and Graphex will work closely with the Department of Innovation and Development for the Manicouagan/Baie-Comeau region of Quebec to identify and evaluate sites that could accommodate processing facilities to produce up to 200,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of battery anode material where they could conduct their proposed joint venture. Northern would provide security of raw mineral supply (graphite concentrate) and it is contemplated that Graphex would license and/or contribute its technology, plans and expertise for building and operating the plant(s). Construction of the proposed battery anode material plant would be subject to identification and acquisition of an appropriate site, receipt of regulatory approvals and financing.
The Manicouagan/Baie-Comeau region presents uniquely advantageous infrastructure and operating conditions for the joint venture to achieve its objectives, including ample renewable energy (hydro power), greenfield and brownfield locations, a deep-sea international port, and most importantly a welcoming local, regional, and national political and financial environment with favorable incentive potential.
The current supply picture for natural graphite in North America is marked both by a significant shortfall in the availability of non-China-sourced graphite raw material that is needed to meet projected demand, and the complete absence of experienced commercial-scale downstream processing to transform that raw material into battery-grade anode material. The collaboration between Northern and Graphex seeks to solve both issues on an industry-wide level by providing OEMs and battery makers with a transparent, ESG compliant supply of quality product needed to meet current and future demand.
Graphex has a decade-long history of processing mine concentrates and produces 10,000 tpy of high yield, high quality battery anode material. Graphex is the only current commercial downstream processor of natural graphite into battery anode material that intends to develop an anode material processing plant in North America.
Northern owns the only graphite mine producing at commercial scale in North America, with a current output of 15,000 tpy of graphite mine concentrate. It also has three development projects with the resources to produce over 100,000 tpy by 2025 and 300,000 tpy by 2027.
“The potential to secure an appropriate site in the Baie-Comeau area in collaboration with Northern would allow Graphex to accelerate the expansion of its experienced mid-stream processing capabilities into North America,” said John DeMaio, CEO of Graphex. “Given the need for large volumes of anode material and the emphasis placed on creating domestic North American supply chains, the Graphex-Northern-Baie-Comeau collaboration represents a significant advancement toward making a domestic supply chain for graphite anode material a reality sooner than later.”
“The addition of Graphex to the Baie-Comeau anode material project is excellent news for the region and for the development of the battery strategy in Quebec,” explained Guy Simard, Director of Industrial Development for Innovation and Développement Manicouagan. “This partnership adds significant value to the project by bringing together the expertise and capabilities of Northern as a natural graphite producer with those of Graphex as an anode material producer.”
“This is an integral step towards finalizing the terms of a binding joint venture agreement with Graphex to produce Coated Spherical Graphite Anode Material for the North American EV/Battery market,” said Hugues Jacquemin, CEO of Northern Graphite. “Over the next few months, we look forward to making further announcements on this and other initiatives that are in advanced stages of negotiation.”
About Graphex Group
Graphex Group Limited is a Cayman Island company with principal and administrative offices in Hong Kong and subsidiary office in Royal Oak, MI. Graphex is a global leader in the industry, proficient in commercial deep processing of graphite, and is currently producing over 10,000 metric tons of spherical graphite annually. Graphex possesses patents and utility models covering various technological, design, and processing applications in addition to trade secrets and technological expertise.
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