Founder, President & CEO, Nouveau Monde Graphite
Nouveau Monde Graphite is leading the local production of natural graphite, the most in-demand lithium-ion battery material.
Deployment of renewable energies and electric vehicle (EV) adoption — in Canada, the government has mandated that all new passenger vehicles and light trucks sold after 2035 be EVs — are driving exponential demand growth for a mineral that might have gone unnoticed in past decades: natural graphite. Graphite is fundamental to every lithium-ion battery underpinning these zero-emission solutions — for every tonne of lithium, 1.5 tonnes of graphite are required. The exponential growth in demand for natural graphite, which is expected to reach over 500 per cent through 2035 — the strongest increase of all key battery materials — means that North America desperately needs to improve its supply of graphite, which is currently controlled by China.
This is a great opportunity for Canadian company Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG). Projected to be North America’s largest producer providing a localized and carbon-neutral alternative to the Chinese supply of natural graphite, it’s leading the way in the production of this important battery material to power a greener future.
Powering the clean energy transition
While electrification has gained momentum across a number of transportation and heavy industry segments, helping carve emissions at the source and further driving demand for battery materials, the mining industry has not kept up.
“From 2012 to 2022, the production of natural graphite has only just fluctuated between 1.2 and 1.3 million tonnes per annum while demand projections increased to 3.4 million tonnes per annum for the anode market alone,” says Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President, and CEO of NMG.
Our technological and commercialization program led to the signing last year of an offtake and strategic partnership with Panasonic Energy.
Over the same period, NMG has blossomed from an exploration junior to an active mining and advanced manufacturing company developing what’s planned to be North America’s largest, fully integrated natural graphite production, from ore to battery materials. The company’s vertically integrated business model caters to the clean energy transition — providing active anode materials to power the batteries needed for not just EVs but also renewable energy storage, cleantech, and consumer electronics.
A forward-looking business strategy
NMG is actively developing responsible mining and advanced manufacturing projects to supply the global economy with carbon-neutral anode material. Based in Québec, the company is focused on the Matawinie Mine and the Bécancour Battery Material Plant, located in the battery valley, and is planning the Uatnan Mining Project.
China’s continued dominance of the global production, its heavy carbon footprint, new Western policies seeking to encourage the localization of sources and a booming North American market all compound into favorable perspectives for NMG.
The company’s ore-to-battery-material production model, high-quality graphite-based solutions, proprietary technologies, and scalable development plan are being noticed and sought after.
“Our technological and commercialization program led to the signing last year of an offtake and strategic partnership with Panasonic Energy,” says Desaulniers. “And discussions advanced, and continue to, with other leading battery/EV manufacturers wanting to secure volumes.”
NMG’s business strategy is also underpinned by a mobilized and diverse team of nearly 110 employees, clean hydroelectricity powering its operations, and a resolute environmental, social, and governance (ESG) mindset.
An enviable ESG profile
NMG’s internal ESG compass drives everything it does.
Using natural graphite, NMG produces active anode material for lithium-ion batteries in a carbon-neutral way, with the utmost respect for the environment and the communities involved. The company’s enviable ESG profile covers a range of issues, including responsible mining, diversity and inclusion, environmental management, Indigenous partnership, biodiversity leadership, and responsibility toward its supply chain.
“From the company’s inception, I’ve laid a foundation of integrity, environmental stewardship, and innovation,” says Desaulniers. “The commitment of going all-electric at our Matawinie Mine thanks to our agreement with Caterpillar, the promotion of proactive engagement with First Nations and communities, the adoption of novel technologies in refining, the design of bold environmental initiatives, and the enlisting of strategic investors and customers who share our vision are as many examples of how we transpose our values into action.”
Creating social and environmental value while driving the transition to a greener future is part of what NMG aspires to do. As the energy transition forges forward, it’s important to recognize that it’s powered by mining. And companies like NMG are leading the way in a responsible, sustainable way.
WHAT IS GRAPHITE, ANYWAY?
KEY DETAILS ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT MINERAL
Graphite is a crystalline form of the element carbon and a key component
of lithium-ion batteries. Here are some fast facts to know about this critical mineral:
Graphite is fundamental to every lithium-ion battery, dominating the negative electrode of the battery: the anode
For every tonne of lithium, 1.5 tonnes of graphite are required
growth is expected
to outpace other
Over 500% growth in demand for graphite is anticipated through 2035
Manufacturers are rushing to find alternatives to Chinese supplies, as China currently controls the market
China produces 65% of flake production, but 100% of spherical graphite
Learn more at NMG.com.