Saint-Michel-des-Saints, QUEBEC —In 2017, Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (“Nouveau Monde“) (TSX VENTURE:NOU)(OTCQX:NMGRF)(FRANKFURT:NM9) achieved important milestones in the development of its graphite project. The main achievements were the publication of an updated resource estimate, a pre-feasibility study for the West Zone of its Matawinie property, the completion of a detailed engineering study related to the construction of its demonstration plant, as well as the addition of several key professionals to its team and to its board of directors.
- December 2017: completion of a detailed engineering study, obtaining of permits and authorizations and of the required financing for the development of the Phase 1 demonstration graphite plant. In addition, in November 2017, Nouveau Monde signed a short-term lease with Louisiana Pacific, the owner of the building where the demonstration plant is expected to be built (see press release dated December 4, 2017).
- November 2017, announcement of the results of a pre-feasibility study with a pre-tax NPV of $498.7 million and an IRR of 32.4% for the West Zone of the Tony claim block, part of the Matawinie graphite property (see press release dated October 25, 2017).
- July 2017, announcement of the extension of the graphite mineralization in the West Zone of the Matawinie property 165 m to the south, in the recent expansion of two of Nouveau Monde’s claims for a total of 18 additional hectares (see press release dated July 5, 2017).
- June 2017, opening of the head office on the main street in Saint-Michel-des-Saints and in November 2017, holding of a public meeting on Nouveau Monde’s project in Saint-Michel-des-Saints. More than 185 people participated in the event and visited the various booths and talked to the company’s experts (read the report www.nouveaumonde.ca).
- April 2017, publishing of the results of a metallurgy optimization program aimed at refining the process flow. One of the highlights of the optimization program was the overall recovery rate of 97.4% at a combined concentrate content of 97.3% total carbon (“Ct”) in closed-loop tests by improving the distribution of flake size. In addition, flotation tests of the variability of the western zone confirmed the homogeneity of the mineralization. The tests showed a standard deviation of only 1% Ct in concentrate for the entire deposit (see press release dated April 11, 2017).
- March 2017, announcement of the results of an updated pit-constrained Mineral Resource Estimate concerning the West Zone Deposit, located on the Tony claim Block, part of its Matawinie graphite Property. The drill program essentially enabled Nouveau Monde to move 100% of the inferred resource into the indicated resource category (see press release dated March 2, 2017).
- January 2017, adding of six new directors to Nouveau Monde’s board of directors (see press release dated January 18, 2017). In addition, in 2017, Nouveau Monde hired former leaders of Imerys Graphite & Carbon and SGL Carbon, including Mr. Karl Trudeau as Chief Operation Officer (see press releases dated January 26, 2017 and July 11, 2017).
OBJECTIVES FOR 2018
In 2018, the focus will be to complete the feasibility study on the West Zone of the Tony block of the Matawinie graphite property. Concurrently, the Phase 1 demonstration plant will be commissioned, and operation will allow to begin selling graphite products to the industrial graphite market. The more specific objectives are as follows:
- To file, in the fall, a feasibility study as well as an environmental and social impact study on its graphite mining project;
- As a result of the extension of the property, to update the West Zone graphite resource during the first quarter of 2018 by integrating the fall of 2017 and winter 2018 drilling and trenching results;
- To start producing graphite concentrate in its demonstration plant during the summer of 2018 and to significantly advance the value-added product development and manufacturing which includes purified graphite concentrate, expandable graphite, spherical graphite, anode material and graphene based products;
- To continue the discussions with strategic partners and key players of the lithium-ion battery market, including users of value-added graphite products, as well as research and development centers related to graphite and lithium-ion batteries;
- To continue to attract the best in class human resources to develop the Matawinie project;
- To maintain the dialogue with stakeholders in order to put in place a project that multiplies the benefits for the host community while targeting a low environmental footprint;
- To remain an exemplary project in term of relation with indigenous peoples and a vector of pride for the Atikamekw Nation by increasing their involvement in every step of the development of the Matawinie project.
“The year 2018 will be pivotal for Nouveau Monde as we will begin marketing our graphite flakes from our Demo Plant,” explains Eric Desaulniers President and CEO of Nouveau Monde Graphite. “To this end, we have already completed the stripping of the rock for the extraction of the first 40 000 t and we have started receiving the necessary equipment for the manufacturing process.”
About Nouveau Monde Graphite
In 2015, Nouveau Monde discovered a graphite deposit on its Tony claims block, part of its fully owned Matawanie graphite property. This discovery recently gave rise to the publication of results from a Prefeasibility Study (PFS), released on October 25, 2017 by Nouveau Monde. This PFS demonstrated strong economics with a planned production of 52,000 tpy of high purity flake graphite concentrate, and a mine life of 27 years. The Probable Mineral Reserves, identified over the West Zone of the Tony Block totals 33.0 Mt grading 4.39 % Cg. These Reserves are prepared in accordance with Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum Definitions Standards for mineral resources in concordance with National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (« 43-101 »). The Matawinie graphite project is located in the municipality of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, approximately 150 km north of Montreal. It benefits from direct access to a workforce and the appropriate infrastructure to operate, including abundant and renewable hydroelectric resources. Nouveau Monde’s team members are developing this project with the outmost respect for the neighboring communities, while targeting a low environmental impact footprint.
The technical information in this news release was prepared by Eric Desaulniers, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO of Nouveau Monde. Mr. Desaulniers is a Qualified Persons under Regulation 43-101.
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All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release including, but not limited to (i) the obtaining of the necessary authorizations and permits; (ii) the schedule, outlook and forecast of the Demo Plant; and (iii) generally, the “Objectives for 2018” and “About Nouveau Monde Graphite” paragraphs which essentially describe the Corporation’s outlook and objectives, constitute ”forward-looking information” or ”forward-looking statements” within the meaning of certain securities laws, and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the time of this press release. Forward looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Corporation as of the time of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. These estimates and assumptions may prove to be incorrect.
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can directly or indirectly affect, and could cause, actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management’s expectations and plans relating to the future. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law.
- Marie-Eve Chaume
Chief communications officer
+1 (514) 951-5498