- Demonstrates Battery Anode Material Made from LDI Graphite is Suitable to Supply Northern's Planned Baie-Comeau Battery Anode Plant
- Indicates Higher Capacity and Potential for Longer Life than Commercially Available Battery Anode Material
Ottawa, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - October 19, 2023) - Northern Graphite Corporation (TSXV: NGC) (OTCQB: NGPHF) (FSE: ONG) (XSTU: ONG) (the "Company" or "Northern") is pleased to announce that results of testing on graphite samples from its cornerstone Lac des Iles ("LDI") mine have verified that LDI graphite is suitable for the production of Battery Anode Material ("BAM"), a key component for Lithium-Ion batteries.
Testing was carried out by Heraeus Battery Technology ("Heraeus"), a Hanau, Germany-based laboratory. Heraeus analyzed the electrochemical characteristics of BAM produced from LDI graphite samples and demonstrated its potential to perform at or above the standards of commercially available reference materials.
"This testing is another step in our progress toward becoming a sustainable, leading provider of next generation carbon materials for the energy transition. Heraeus was able to show, in layman's terms, that our BAM material has a performance that is comparable to or better than what is commercially available today," said Northern Chief Executive Officer Hugues Jacquemin. "As the industry strives to extend the life of Lithium-Ion batteries, testing also showed that our graphite is more stable, and we expect it to have better cycle efficiency, which extends battery life."
The Company's LDI mine, located in Quebec, 180 kilometres northwest of Montreal, is North America's only producing natural graphite mine. LDI will provide part of the supply required by Northern's planned Baie-Comeau BAM plant, which is currently projected to come online in 2026 at an initial production rate of 50,000 tonnes per year. Producing BAM from the future Baie-Comeau plant is a key component of Northern's growth strategy.
"These results, combined with our efforts to prove out a longer mine life at Lac des Iles, represent a key pillar in our strategy to be a vertically integrated, sustainable, mine-to-market supplier to the EV revolution," said Northern Chief Operating Officer Kirsty Liddicoat.
The Heraeus laboratory results confirmed that anode electrodes produced in the laboratory and electrochemically tested in half-cells for Critical to Quality markers including first cycle efficiency, reversible specific capacity and cycling efficiency, demonstrated that graphite samples from the Company's LDI mine that had been milled, shaped, purified and coated using currently available technologies meet or exceed current industry standards.
The specific capacity of graphite, the active material in the anode of Lithium-Ion batteries, is a key indicator of the quality of the graphite and of how much energy can be stored per gram of material. Its value is measured in milliampere-hours per gram of active material ("mAh/g"). In second-cycle testing, used to determine the reversible capacity, a key indicator of the energy storage capability, LDI samples showed a specific capacity of 361 mAh/g versus an industry comparative of 358 mAh/g. The theoretical maximum storage capacity of graphite is 372 mAh/g and the goal of processing is to get as close to that figure as possible.
|Initial coulombic efficency (%) (a)
|Charging (lithiation) capacity (mAh/g) (b)
|Discharging (delithiation) capacity (mAh/g) (b)
|Coulombic efficency (%) (b)
* Values from first cycle (a) and second cycle (b) half-cell measurement using an anode with 96% graphite 1% carbon black and 3% binder (CMC+SBR). The BAM demonstrator is closer to the theoretical values than the measured industry standard (also based on natural graphite) which highlights the potential of Northern's graphite for this application.
"This is proof of concept that natural graphite from Northern's LDI mine is suited for use as Battery Anode Material in Lithium-Ion batteries, with the kind of graphite quality required to enable close to theoretical cycling performance, and is ideal for use in electric vehicles," said Dr. Moritz Hantel, Head of Innovation at Heraeus.
The SEM (scanning electron microscope) micrographs reveal a very homogeneous particle size and shape of the processed graphite. Due to the application of a carbon coating, the surface of the graphite is smoothed out, reducing the electrochemically active surface area.
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There is effectively no capacity in the West to convert graphite mine concentrates into anode material and EV manufacturers are depending on project proponents such as Northern to fill the void and supply existing and planned Lithium-Ion battery manufacturing plants throughout North America. The proposed Baie-Comeau BAM plant will be one of the world's largest and cleanest such conversion facilities and will process concentrates from Northern's mines as well as from other producers that will be coming online. The plant will have among the lowest CO2 footprints in the industry due to its access to green, hydroelectric power, with pricing that is among the most competitive in the world.
The Baie-Comeau plant will be made up of modules of 10,000-20,000 tonnes of production which will be scaled up to meet individual customers' demands. Northern is also working to increase natural graphite production at LDI and plans to restart its Okanjande mine in Namibia in 2024 and start production at its Bissett Creek property in Ontario in 2026, subject to financing.
"This is the first time that we have made full anode material with graphite from Lac des Iles, which is shaping up to be our cornerstone mine, and these trials, while preliminary, are very, very encouraging," said Mr. Jacquemin. "We are actively engaging with electric vehicle makers and OEMs that require natural graphite for their processes, and with these advancements, we will be able to supply them with samples tailored to their individual specifications."
About Northern Graphite
Northern is a Canadian, TSX Venture Exchange listed company that is focused on becoming a world leader in producing natural graphite and upgrading it into high value products critical to the green economy including anode material for Lithium-Ion batteries/EVs, fuel cells and graphene, as well as advanced industrial technologies.
Northern is the only graphite producing company in North America and will become the third largest producer outside of China when its Namibian operations come back online. The Company has the large scale Bissett Creek development project in Ontario that will be a source of continued production growth in the future. All projects have "battery quality" graphite and are located close to infrastructure in politically stable jurisdictions.
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Pav Jordan, VP of Communications
Gregory Bowes, B.Sc. MBA P.Geo, the Chairman of Northern, is a "qualified person" as defined under National Instrument 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.
For additional information
Please visit the Company's website at http://www.northerngraphite.com/investors/presentation/, the Company's profile on www.sedarplus.ca, our Social Channels listed below or contact the Company at (613) 271-2124.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward- looking statements and information are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "potential", "possible" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may", "will", "could", or "should" occur. Forward-looking statements in this release include statements regarding, among others, the performance and suitability of the Company's graphite and anode material for use in Lithium-Ion batteries and the Company's intentions with respect to increasing graphite production at its Lac des Iles mine, advancing its development projects to production and building the capacity to manufacture value added products including the development of a Battery Anode Material Plant at Baie Comeau. All such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and analyses made by management based on their experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors they believe are appropriate in the circumstances. However, these statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected including, but not limited to unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of other parties to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; unexpected failure or inadequacy of infrastructure and the failure of ongoing and contemplated studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued studies, development or operations, and the inability to raise the required financing. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based on what management believes are reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with them. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.
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