Northern Graphite Corporation is an Ottawa-based Canadian mine development company that trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NGC” and on the OTCQB under the symbol “NGPHF”.
Northern’s principal asset is the Bissett Creek graphite project located in southern Canada with easy access to labor, natural gas, equipment and supplies, ports and markets. Bissett Creek is a very advanced stage project as an NI 43-101 bankable final Feasibility Study has been completed and the major mining permit obtained. Additional operational permits and species-at-risk permitting are required to commence operations and all are expected to be received in 2021. Northern anticipates that it will be in a position to begin construction of the mine by late 2021, subject to the availability of financing.
The Company believes that Bissett Creek has the best location/infrastructure, highest margin and highest percentage of large flake production of any new graphite project. The project will be developed in two phases, starting at 25,000tpy of production and then doubling when market conditions warrant. Further expansions are possible. This is a conservative strategy that results in a reasonable initial capital cost, reduced financial risk, and a realistic production level that minimizes marketing risk.
Graphite prices have been depressed in recent years due to excess production capacity in China and a large new mine being built in Africa. That mine is now closed due to operational and financial difficulties and the continued growth in the lithium-ion battery ("LiB") market due to EVs and grid storage are creating the potential for supply shortages and higher prices. LiBs were a small part of graphite demand five or 10 years ago but now account for about 25 per cent and major markets such as electric vehicles and grid storage are still in their infancy. Even modest adoption rates of EVs will require multiple new graphite mines.
China produces almost 100 per cent of LiB anode materials which creates serious security of supply concerns for the west. As a result, both the European Union and the USA have both named graphite a supply critical mineral.
The world needs new, secure western sources of graphite supply particularly for large flake and the Company is well positioned to benefit. Northern intends to focus on higher value industrial markets where these larger grades are used but has the flexibility to switch to the LiB market when economics warrant. Unlike many of its peers, almost all Bissett Creek production will be "battery grade".