Northern Graphite completes Lac des Iles drilling program, Quebec

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Northern Graphite Corp. [TSXV-NGC; OTCQB-NGPHF; FSE-0NG] has completed a drilling campaign at its Lac des Iles (LDI) mine, Quebec, that confirms the potential to extend the life of what is North America’s only significant producer of natural graphite.

“The second half of the drilling program has confirmed the potential for near surface resources that we can extract in the short term,” said Northern Chief Operating Officer Kirsty Liddicoat. “We were able to identify good grade that is shallow, including a near-surface, thicker seam of graphite mineralization.”

The drilling program, which began in May of 2023 and saw a total of 88 holes for 7,890 metres drilled, demonstrated significant, near-surface graphite mineralization and revealed that it is still open at depth. The Company embarked on the drilling within the existing mine lease after a detailed review of historical studies and mine plans, supported by an airborne geophysical survey, identified a number of target zones, many of which have yet to be drilled. Results from the first phase of the program were disclosed in a news release August 2, 2023, after 43 holes for 4,081 metres were drilled.

In addition to the potential larger mineralized zone to the west (as indicated by geophysics) and below the current pit identified in the first phase of drilling, the second half of the drilling program has shown strong potential for good near-surface mineralization, with a number of seams showing the tendency to merge near surface. Both the thickness of the seams and the grades seen indicate the potential for an extension to mining operations in the near term. Mineralization remains open to the north and south.

“The news around Lac des Iles keeps on getting better,” said Northern CEO Hugues Jacquemin. “The LDI property hosts the only producing, permitted graphite mine, processing plant and tailings facility in North America. LDI, as a decades-long producing mine, represents a very valuable and strategic asset given the environmental, regulatory and First Nations consultation timelines for new projects. Our objective is to continue to build this cornerstone asset by expanding production through the development of satellite deposits in order to supply the rapidly growing battery/EV markets.”

Northern acquired LDI in April 2022 and financed the current drilling program from the proceeds of a $2.25 million charity flow-through private placement. The program’s target zones on the LDI property (located 180 km northwest of Montreal) included the northern extension of the pit, mineralization in the west side of the pit wall and numerous electromagnetic conductors.

“We knew when we were halfway through the drilling program that the results were good, but phase two of our program has increased our knowledge of the geology and the potential for further mineralization. Our exploration over the past five months suggests that Lac des Iles has a lot more to offer than what was previously thought,” said Ms. Liddicoat. “We are evaluating the potential for resource and reserve increases over Q4 2023.”

LDI has long been supplying traditional graphite markets, from refractory bricks for steelmaking to heat management in mobile phones and friction and lubrication products for brakes and brake linings for the global automobile industry. The LDI plant currently produces 15,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate per year and has the capacity to produce 25,000 tonnes per annum.

“These results reinforce our conviction that Lac des Iles will become a lynchpin asset to supply sustainable graphite to our current market and to our planned battery anode material plant in Baie-Comeau,” said Mr. Jacquemin.

Highlights – Zone 13 (West Wall Pit 12): Hole F13-23-02 returned 7.31% graphitic carbon (Cg) over 7.94 metres. Hole F13-23-05 returned 6.70% Cg over 6.94 metres. Hole F13-23-06 returned 7.33% Cg over 8.0 metres. Hole F13-23-08 returned 8.60% Cg over 6.62 metres. Hole F13-23-15 returned 8.60% Cg over 8.85 metres.

Zone 7 (South of Section B): Hole F7-23-01 returned 9.21% Cg over 6.1 metres. Hole F7-23-07 returned 6.50% Cg over 5.95 metres. Hole F7-23-10 returned 7.51% Cg over 5.9 metres. All results reported are true widths.

Northern is the only significant graphite producing company in North America and will become the third largest producer outside of China when its Namibian operations come back online. The company also has two large scale development projects, Bissett Creek in Ontario, and Okanjande in Namibia, that will be a source of continued production growth in the future. All projects have “battery quality” graphite and are located close to infrastructure in politically stable jurisdictions.

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