Northern Graphite reopens North America’s only producing mine

The Lac des Iles mine in Quebec (LDI) is the only graphite producer in North America. (Image courtesy of Northern Graphite.)

Canada’s Northern Graphite (TSX-V: NGC) said on Friday it had resumed processing ore at its Lac des Iles (LDI) mine in Quebec, which is North America’s only producing mine of the commodity.

The company said the decision follows rising market demand after China’s curbs on graphite exports. China, the world’s top graphite producer and exporter, said in October that exports of some types of natural and man-made forms of graphite would require permits from December 1. 

Graphite is used in electric vehicles’ (EVs) battery anodes, which is the negatively charged portion of a battery.

The LDI mine and plant were placed on care and maintenance during the second and third quarters of this year, due to challenging market conditions and prices for its products. Northern Graphite continued to supply customers from stockpiled inventories during that time.

Sales at the mines increased more than 25% in the September quarter to 2,587 tonnes from 2,016 tonnes in the previous quarter.

“What we saw starting in the third quarter was that customers were really coming off the sidelines to secure supply for the year after a hiatus in the first half,” chief executive officer Hugues Jacquemin said in the statement.

Jacquemin noted the company has immediate capacity available to supply the market. Northern Graphite also has the ability to scale quickly thanks to its Okanjande mine in Namibia.