Northern Graphite eyes production in Namibia

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Northern Graphite Corp. [NGC-TSXV; NGPHF-OTCQB] says it is now the only significant graphite producing company in North America and will become the third largest outside China when its Namibian operations come back on line in the first half of 2023.

The forecast is contained in the company’s 2022 second quarter results, which include two months of operation at the Lac des Iles graphite mine in Quebec, which Northern Graphite acquired at the end of April, 2022.

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.

Northern Graphite was focused on Bissett Creek until its recent acquisition a 100% interest in two graphite mines from French industrial minerals company Imerys Group for US$40 million, a move that Northern Graphite described as “transformational” for the company.

Those assets included the producing Lac des Iles graphite mine and the Okanjande graphite deposit/Okorusu processing plant in Namibia. The Namibian project was held by Imerys and a joint venture partner.

Northern Graphite said it is preparing to undertake a preliminary economic assessment on building a large new processing plant at the Okanjande deposit with a capability of producing 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes-per-year of graphite concentrate to serve the electric vehicle/battery market.

Meanwhile, a new tailings dam is required and work is in progress with respect to permitting and gathering the required geotechnical and geochemical design information.

“Release of our second quarter results is another important milestone in Northern’s transformation from a development stage company to a producer with revenues, a positive mine operating profit and a strong cash position,’’ said Northern CEO Hugues Jacquemin.

“Becoming the only significant producer of graphite in North America is a good start and we intend to aggressively build on that position through continued production growth, acquisitions and downstream investments,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, highlights for the second quarter include:

  • 38,500 tonnes of ore and low-grade stockpile with an average grade of 6.6% processed in May and June, 2022.
  • 2,523 tonnes of graphite concentrate produced with a recovery of 89.7%.
  • Concentrate purity averaged 96%.
  • Revenue of $3.7 million generated based on 1,773 tonnes sold at an average price of $2,083 per tonne (US$1,623 per tonne).
  • Cash costs were $1,276 (US$994) per tonne of graphite concentrate.
  • An operating loss of $1.5 million was recorded which includes general and administrative expenses and project evaluation, acquisition, and integration costs.
  • Cash and restricted cash and equivalents of $17.7 million as at June 30, 2022.

On Wednesday, Northern Graphite shares rose 3.2% or $0.02 to 64 cents. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 94 cents and 33 cents.

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