(MENAFN - GlobeNewsWire - Nasdaq) itemprop="articleBody">SAINT-MICHEL-DES-SAINTS, Quebec, Jan. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Thanks to the constant support of all its employees, consultants and shareholders, several important milestones were achieved during 2018 for Nouveau Monde Graphite (' Nouveau Monde or the ' Company ) (TSX Venture Exchange: NOU). The management and the board of directors of Nouveau Monde would like to warmly thank all our stakeholders for their daily efforts in advancing our project during last year.
During 2018, Nouveau Monde continued to advance its graphite project on many fronts, including: The construction and commissioning of a demonstration plant with the capacity to produce 1,000 tonnes of natural flake graphite concentrate per year. In the last quarter, the Company produced its first tons of bagged graphite products, demonstrating the ability to provide a concentrate of exceptional quality in an operational context that is quite comparable to the planned commercial plant.
The completion of a Feasibility Study, completed in accordance with the National Instrument (NI) 43-101 guidelines, detailing a mining operation with the goal of producing 100,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate per year for more than 25 years (see press release dated October 25, 2018).
A significant increase of the West Zone Mineral Resources of the Tony Block resulting in an Indicated Resource of 95.8M tonnes at 4.28% Cg (see press release dated June 27, 2018).
The signing of a license and a collaboration agreement with Hydro-Québec concerning the graphite's transformation process for its use in Li-ion batteries (see press release dated May 17, 2018).
As regards the community relations, efforts to this end continued, resulting in the signing of a framework agreement with the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan and the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw (see press release of April 12, 2018) and the signing of an agreement in principle with the municipality of Saint-Michel-des-Saints (see press release dated August 24, 2018). Throughout the year, NMG participated and organized many community events, including the open house held on December 8, 2018. Important milestone in the consultations held as part of the environmental and social impact assessment, more than 400 people participated in this event with the experts to carry out this study. A survey conducted in November with 300 respondents in the region indicates that 83% of respondents give a positive score to the project (see press release dated December 18, 2018).
OBJECTIVES FOR 2019
The main objectives of the Matawinie project for the year 2019 are the following: Establish marketing partnerships and commence graphite concentrate sales in the first quarter. Product certification of graphite concentrate with key customers is anticipated during 2019 and 2020 through production from the demonstration plant.
The filing of an environmental and social impact assessment with the ministerial authorities during the first quarter to begin the process of obtaining licences for the commercial operation.
Construction and commissioning of a purified spherical graphite production demonstration plant targeting the Li-ion battery market with the support of strategic partnerships. The purification capacity can also be used to purify flakes of different sizes to penetrate lucrative niche markets.
Publication of a Preliminary Economic Study on commercial production of 30,000 tonnes per year of purified value added spherical graphite.
Completion of the detailed engineering phase for a pilot plant capable of producing value added expandable graphite with the support of strategic partners. This involves upscaling the process Nouveau Monde used to fabricate expandable graphite products in a laboratory setting.
The start of the detailed engineering of the commercial mining project. In order to accomplish this, we will continue to integrate highly qualified staff into our development team to begin planning for construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2020.
Ongoing dialogue with stakeholders and intensification of our information and mobilization actions with citizens and skateholders, especially in the environment field, to implement a project that respects the host community and aims for a low environmental footprint.
Eric Desaulniers, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde commented, 'We are proud to confirm that the whole team will continue its work with the same constant dedication, the same contagious passion and energy to achieve our objectives of 2019. The development of a mining project of this size and importance requires organization, discipline and focus over several years. Our team is up to the challenge and eager to bring our project to fruition.'
Best wishes from Nouveau Monde to all its partners and employees in 2019!
ABOUT NOUVEAU MONDE GRAPHITE
In 2015, Nouveau Monde Graphite discovered a major and high-quality graphite deposit on its Matawinie property, located in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, 150 km North of Montréal. This discovery led to the completion of a Feasibility Study, the results of which were announced on October 24, 2018. The Feasibility Study revealed strong economics with projected graphite concentrate production level of 100,000 tonnes per year over a 25.5-year period. NMG will operate its demonstration plant until 2020. During this period, NMG expects the production of 2,000 tonnes of concentrated flake graphite to qualify its products with North American and international clients.
Moreover, in a vertical integration and sustainable development perspective, Nouveau Monde is planning the establishment of a large-scale graphite secondary transformation facility, catering the needs of the booming lithium-ion battery market. With over 60 years of experience in the world of graphite, NMG's team develops its project with the utmost respect of neighboring communities, while favoring a minimal ecological footprint. NMG's project is privileged by direct access to the workforce and infrastructure needed to operate its mining project, and it can also rely on an abundant, affordable and renewable source of hydroelectricity.
The technical information in this news release was prepared by Eric Desaulniers, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO of Nouveau Monde. Mr. Desaulniers is a Qualified Persons under Regulation 43-101.
For more information:
President & CEO
Tel: +1 (819) 923-0333 Tristan Menard
Executive Vice-President, Capital Markets
Tel: +1 (514) 296-6339
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All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release including, but not limited to generally, or the 'About Corporation Graphite' paragraph which essentially describe the Corporation's outlook and objectives, constitute 'forward-looking information' or 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of certain securities laws, and are based on expectations, estimates and projections as of the time of this press release. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by the Corporation as of the time of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. These estimates and assumptions may prove to be incorrect.
Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can directly or indirectly affect, and could cause, actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management's expectations and plans relating to the future. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law.
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