CEO Hugues Jacquemin heralded a pivotal move for Northern as the company announced the launch of the NGC Battery Materials Group. Northern, renowned for its Lac des Iles mine in Quebec, stands as the sole graphite producer in North America. Amidst escalating geopolitical significance of graphite underscored by China’s announcement of stringent export controls in November, the strategic move by Northern looms large. China, as the world’s premier graphite producer and exporter, refines over 90% of the material crucial for electric vehicle batteries and various green energy technologies.
The NGC Battery Materials Group, which will be operated and financed by Northern, signals a definitive step forward. The group is catalyzed by a state-of-the-art laboratory for analytics and battery testing, access to a formidable customer base in the battery market, and the capacity to scale high-heat and carbon materials processes. This move promises to expedite the realization of Northern’s vision, paving the way for the company to offer tailored solutions to EV battery makers and original equipment manufacturers to meet their unique battery requirements.
Moreover, the establishment of the NGC Battery Materials Group fortifies Northern’s trajectory. The group will specialize in advanced material analytics and electrochemical characterization techniques for carbon and battery materials. This is complemented by extensive expertise in high-temperature processing, scale-up, and carbon design, poised to bolster Northern’s ability to cater to the distinctive battery needs of various industry players.
The NGC Battery Materials Group is also primed to spearhead the development of Northern’s planned 200,000 tonnes-per-year Baie-Comeau, Que., battery anode material plant. The anticipated commencement of construction in 2026, subject to financing, underlines Northern’s commitment to driving the expansion of its operational footprint in the battery materials domain.
With this groundbreaking announcement, Northern shares experienced an upsurge, trading at C$0.20 apiece on a Wednesday afternoon in Toronto, valuing the company at C$26 million. Notably, its shares have traded within a 52-week range of C$0.16 and C$0.64, reflecting the company’s continued evolution and prospects in the industry.