Eric Desaulniers and Hiroshi Kakiuchi commemorate the partnership at a signing ceremony at NMG’s Phase-1 plant. (Photo: Nouveau Monde Graphite)

Nouveau Monde Graphite, Inc. (NMG), Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., have entered into a framework agreement to enable the next development steps of NMG’s ore-to-battery-market integrated graphite project in Québec, Canada. NMG will put investment to use in the upcoming months, optimizing the feasibility study on NMG’s Phase-2 Commercial integrated operations.

“We are very pleased to be participating in this strategic partnership with NMG, which will allow us to explore the possibility of establishing an environmentally friendly supply chain in North America through a completely new integrated anode production in Canada,” President & CEO of Panasonic Energy Kazuo Tadanobu said. “As a manufacturer of EV lithium-ion batteries with the largest share of the North American market, given our leading technology and depth of experience, we aim to continue driving the growth of the industry and accelerating toward a decarbonized society.”

The framework agreement defines the role and responsibilities of the parties in the coming months, including optimization of the feasibility study and other important project-related operational milestones. NMG plans to use the proceeds from the investment to support the finalization of the design, operation, marketing, and corporate parameters of the Phase-2 Matawinie mine and Bécancour battery material plant. The intention is to proceed with project financing and the fi nal investment decision on both the Matawinie mine and Bécancour plant once that optimization phase is completed and all operational variables are well understood. Based on the information available today, NMG anticipates a 28-month construction period following final investment decision to bring its operations to commercial production.

Hiroshi Kakiuchi, Managing Officer of Mitsui, added: “We are very excited to be working with NMG and participating in their mission to establish a stable lithium-ion battery supply chain for electric vehicles in North America and contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society. In particular, we are inspired by Eric Desaulniers’ vision to take on the unprecedented challenge of establishing the whole process of anode material production, from mining to manufacturing, which is to be completed in North America in an environmentally friendly way.”