Northern Graphite Corporation, Ottawa, Canada, (NGC:TSX-V, NGPHF:OTCQB) has announced results from the first phase of testing with respect to manufacturing spherical graphite or “SPG” from graphite concentrates produced from the Bissett Creek deposit, Ontario, Canada. SPG is the anode material used in lithium ion batteries. The testing was carried out by ProGraphite GmbH, Untergriesbach, Germany, who concluded that Bissett Creek concentrates are very well suited for the spheronization process with an above average yield, narrow particle size distribution and relatively high tap density. ProGraphite is one of the world’s leading graphite R&D laboratories with over several decades of professional expertise and experience.
Gregory Bowes, CEO commented that: “The large flake nature of our Bissett Creek deposit provides Northern with the luxury of starting with a project that is “right sized” for the current market and has robust economics based on higher margin industrial markets that are here now. However, we must also be prepared for higher prices and better margins in the battery anode material market as they are necessary to stimulate development of the multiple new graphite mines needed for automobile manufacturers to meet their EV sales targets.” He added that: “Potential supply shortages may create a scenario where all of our production needs to be turned into anode material regardless of flake size.”
ProGraphite produced three SPG products with average sizes of approximately 15, 17 and 20 microns. The SPG yield ranged between 52.3 and 55.3 per cent compared to industry averages of 35 to 40 per cent. The particle size distribution was relatively steep in all cases which is a desirable quality. The tap density was also relatively high, ranging between 94 and 99 per cent. In part, this reflects the high bulk density of Bissett Creek concentrates which is a requirement for high quality SPG. The ProGraphite results confirm test work previously carried out by the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (“BGRIMM”) who also stated that the yield of SPG should increase with large scale, commercial processing. BGRIMM is a Chinese state owned research and development company and the premier Chinese institute in the field of mining and metallurgical technology.
Spheronization is the first step in manufacturing SPG and essentially involves micronizing the graphite flakes and rolling them up like a snowball. The spherical shape improves packing density in the anode which means higher capacity batteries, it creates more sites for lithium ion intercalation which results in better battery performance and it enables the anode material to be laid down quickly and uniformly in thin sheets during the battery manufacturing process.
About Northern Graphite
Northern Graphite is a mineral development and technology company focussed on developing its Bissett Creek graphite deposit and upgrading mine concentrates into high value components used in lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicles, fuel cells, graphene and other advanced technologies. An independent study estimates that Bissett Creek will have the highest margin of any existing or proposed graphite deposit due to its very favorable location, simple metallurgy and the high quality of its concentrates which the Company believes will provide a competitive advantage in manufacturing products for the green economy.
Bissett Creek is an advanced stage project with a full Feasibility Study and its major mining permit which puts the Company in position to make a construction decision, subject to financing. The Project is located in the southern part of Canada between the cities of North Bay and Ottawa and close to the Trans-Canada highway providing ready access to labour, supplies, equipment, natural gas and markets.
Gregory Bowes, B.Sc. MBA, P. Geo., a Qualified Person as defined under National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and is responsible for the technical information in this news release.