MONTRÉAL--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of a positive assessment of its ESG performance, Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (“Nouveau Monde” or the “Company”) (NYSE: NMG, TSXV: NOU) releases its 2022 goals for its project and corporate development. The Company expects to complete the deployment of its Phase-1 operations in the first half of this year while further advancing the planning and construction of its Phase-2 Bécancour battery material plant and Matawinie graphite mine towards a targeted integrated production capacity of 42,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of carbon-neutral anode material for the growing lithium-ion battery market.
Following the issuance of its inaugural ESG Report, Nouveau Monde sought independent assessment of its sustainability performance. The Company is pleased to report that Moody’s ESG Solutions has provided a Sustainability Rating of A2 (‘Robust’), the second-highest grade on its rating scale, to Nouveau Monde.
Arne H Frandsen, Chair of Nouveau Monde, commented: “Moody’s independent assessment attests to our industry-leading ESG performance. I am delighted to see that our team is being recognized for our sustainability and ESG initiatives. From the outset, Nouveau Monde made a commitment to all our stakeholders, including our employees and host communities, to operate as a “best-of-class” company when it comes to ethical and equitable business practice.”
2022 Goals: Stepping Up of Phase 2 Development
A testament to the Company’s responsible and sustainable focus, the ESG rating will guide Nouveau Monde in strengthening its practices as it enters a decisive year for scaling up its anode material production. The year 2022 is indeed projected to be pivotal in Nouveau Monde’s development with the following goals set by management for the Company:
- Continuation of safe operations and environmental stewardship at the Company’s Phase-1 facilities and construction sites, anchored in Nouveau Monde’s zero-harm philosophy.
- Construction and commissioning of the Company’s Phase-1 coating line with a 2,000-tpa nameplate capacity to produce coated spherical purified graphite (“CSPG”), the final stage of value-added transformation for graphite materials to enter battery manufacturing.
- Completion of a NI43-101 bankable feasibility study for the large-scale Phase-2 Bécancour battery material plant and the Matawinie graphite mine to reflect Nouveau Monde’s integrated business model for comprehensive planning, cost projection, and development framework.
- Signing of a long-term strategic agreement with an anchor customer for the Company’s Phase-2 CSPG production.
- Advancement of Phase-2 Matawinie mine construction through detailed engineering, procurement, and on-site civil works.
- Increased production of custom advanced graphite materials meeting battery and electric vehicles (“EV”) makers’ specifications with a focus on quality, high purity, lot-by-lot consistency, and battery-grade performance.
- Structuring and securing project financing for the construction and development of Nouveau Monde’s Phase 2: the Bécancour battery material plant and the Matawinie graphite mine.
- Continued dialogue and engagement with local stakeholders, including the First Nations communities of Manawan (Atikamekw) and Wôlinak (Abénakis), to promote a shared perspective, maximize local benefits, and enhance projects’ integration within their communities.
- Delivering on the Company’s carbon neutrality commitment via a Climate Action Plan and pursuing its Sustainability Action Plan to elevate Nouveau Monde’s policies, programs, and partnerships, and improve its global ESG performance.
Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President, and CEO of Nouveau Monde, added: “The marketplace is preparing itself for the ramp up in EV and energy storage systems production to meet the rapidly growing appetite of consumers and governments for zero-emission solutions. This is an ideal window for Nouveau Monde. I am confident in the team we have assembled to lead this next phase of our growth, with an uncompromising focus on safety, discipline, and efficiency to meet the market’s demand for responsibly-extracted, environmentally-transformed, and fully traceable battery materials.”
Highlights of Nouveau Monde’s ESG Performance
In its opinion on Nouveau Monde’s sustainability, Moody’s highlighted the integration of ESG factors in the Company’s strategy, operations, and risk management, and its robust performance on issues related to reputation and legal security. Moody’s also noted Nouveau Monde’s “outstanding efforts to promote health and safety of direct and indirect workforce, advanced management of impacts on biodiversity, as well as advanced promotion of the involvement of local communities and local economy” (Moody’s, December 2021). Implementation of human capital management systems, integration of external audits, and development of quantitative targets were among the avenues for improvement.
Furthermore, Moody’s assessed that the Company had the opportunity to “make a major contribution to some UN sustainable development goals” thanks to its projected production of green battery materials supporting electrification and renewable energies.
Moody’s rating can be consulted here while Nouveau Monde’s ESG Report disclosing its managerial approach to addressing material topics and detailing sustainability indicators aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Global Reporting Initiative, and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board is accessible here.
About Nouveau Monde
Nouveau Monde is striving to become a key contributor to the sustainable energy revolution. The Company is working towards developing a fully integrated source of carbon-neutral battery anode material in Québec, Canada for the growing lithium-ion and fuel cell markets. With low-cost operations and enviable ESG standards, Nouveau Monde aspires to become a strategic supplier to the world’s leading battery and automobile manufacturers, providing high-performing and reliable advanced materials while promoting sustainability and supply chain traceability. www.NMG.com
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release including, but not limited to those describing the timeline of the various initiatives described in this press release, the intended results of the Company’s development plans, the positive impact of the foregoing on project economics, the Company’s intended production capacity of carbon-neutral anode material, the growth of the lithium-ion battery market, future demand for EV and energy storage system, the Company’s commitments and performance with respect to its ESG initiatives, including the electrification of the Matawinie graphite mine, the Company’s growth, the Company’s 2022 goals and the achievement of same, and those statements which are discussed under the “About Nouveau Monde” paragraph and elsewhere in the press release which essentially describe the Company’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 Company 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. Moreover, these forward-looking statements were based upon various underlying factors and assumptions, including the current technological trends, the business relationship between the Company and its stakeholders, the ability to operate in a safe and effective manner, the timely delivery and installation of the equipment supporting the production, the Company’s business prospects and opportunities and estimates of the operational performance of the equipment, and are not guarantees of future performance.
Forward-looking information and statements are subject to known or unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking information and statements. Risk factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, delays in the scheduled delivery times of the equipment, the ability of the Company to successfully implement its strategic initiatives and whether such strategic initiatives will yield the expected benefits, the availability of financing or financing on favorable terms for the Company, the dependence on commodity prices, the impact of inflation on costs, the risks of obtaining the necessary permits, the operating performance of the Company’s assets and businesses, competitive factors in the graphite mining and production industry, changes in laws and regulations affecting the Company’s businesses, political and social acceptability risk, environmental regulation risk, currency and exchange rate risk, technological developments, the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the governments’ responses thereto, and general economic conditions, as well as earnings, capital expenditure, cash flow and capital structure risks and general business risks. Unpredictable or unknown factors not discussed in this Cautionary Note could also have material adverse effects on forward-looking statements.
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 Company 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.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
1 This Sustainability Rating was originally conducted by V.E, which is now part of Moody’s ESG Solutions