Nouveau Monde (TSXV: NOU) has begun civil construction works for its Matawinie graphite mine in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Quebec, 120 km north of Montreal. Commercial production is scheduled to begin by the end of 2023.
The company is taking a phased approach to becoming a vertically integrated source of green battery anode material. First is development. The Matawinie mine will have the distinction of being the first all-electric open pit mine in the world. That and the availability of renewable hydro power is expected to create a carbon-neutral operation.
Then over two years, a steady rate of production is planned at a rate of 45,000 tonnes of anode material and purified jumbo flake graphite. The mine will also produce 100,000 tonnes annually of high purity flake graphite, making it the largest producer in the Western World. The third phase, beginning in 2025 and going forward, will be marked by expansion both Matawinie mine and anode material production capacity.
The project has a pit constrained measured and indicated resources of 120.3 million tonnes grading 4.26% graphitic carbon (Cg). This amount includes probable reserves of 59.8 million tonnes grading 4.35% Cg. The inferred resource is 4.5 million tonnes at 4.43% Cg.
Metso Outotec has been engaged to supply key mineral processing equipment for the concentrator.
As the pace of construction gears up, L. Fournier et Fils will build the 7.8 km access road connecting the mine site to Highway 131. The road is to be completed in September.
Nouveau Monde has also created an environmental monitoring program to oversee the construction, operation and closure activities at Matawinie. Third party biologists have been asked to conduct inspections of the presence of vulnerable species.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)