Northern Graphite Corp. [NGC-TSXV; NGPHF-OTCQB] on Monday released the results of purification tests carried out on graphite concentrates from its flagship Bissett Creek graphite deposit in northern Ontario.
The company said the tests show that the graphite concentrates can be easily purified to battery standards using either acid or alkaline based processes.
“This is the second phase of testing in evaluating use of the company’s concentrates in the manufacture of lithium-ion battery anode material (BAM),’’ the company said. “The results were excellent and comparable to the performance of thermal purification.
Testing was carried out by ProGraphite, which is located in Germany and is one of the world’s leading graphite laboratories with over several decades of professional expertise and experience.
Northern Graphite shares advanced on the news, rising 1.3% or $0.005 to 40 cents on volume of 111,680. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 70 cents and 18 cents.
Northern Graphite is a mineral development and technology company that is working to develop its flagship Bissett Creek graphite deposit. Bissett Creek is recognized as the leading undeveloped graphite project outside China with an 80 million-tonne resource located in a pro-mining jurisdiction just 15 kilometres from the TransCanada Hwy
The company is also focused on upgrading mine concentrates into high value components used in lithium-ion batteries, electric vehicles, fuel cells, graphene and other advanced technologies.
Its aim is to become a leading supplier of graphite, an industrial mineral that has long been associated with steel manufacturing, lead pencils and golf clubs, but is now a key ingredient used in the production of electric vehicles.
The first step in producing BAM is micronizing and rounding mine concentrate. It has already been demonstrated that Bissett Creek concentrates produce a high-yield of BAM precursor with relatively steep particle size distribution and high tap density.
The latter is a function of the concentrate’s high bulk density, a requirement for high quality BAM.
The latest tests have shown that Bissett Creek concentrates can be readily purified with acid, alkaline, thermal or chlorination methods. Almost all BAM is currently produced in China where purification is predominantly done using hydrofluoric acid.
This creates a number of environmental, workplace health and safety and transportation issues.
The company has already completed a bankable feasibility study for Bissett Creek. It has also received its major environmental permit. With capital costs estimated at US$85 million, the company is hoping to start up at a rate of 25,000 tonnes per year from open pit production.