Nouveau maps carbon neutral forever plan
Offsetting emissions to produce greenest graphite materials Metal Tech News – April 14, 2021
Last updated 6/22/2021 at 5:39am
Toward its mission to "produce the greenest advanced graphite materials with a carbon-neutral footprint for a sustainable world," Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc., has laid out a plan that not only charts a path to a carbon-neutral future but also aims to offset all corporate emissions since the company was formed in 2012.
"Nouveau Monde has committed to a zero-harm approach to producing advanced battery materials for decades to come. Carbon neutrality is an important part of this commitment," said Nouveau Monde Graphite Chairman Arne Frandsen. "We know that for many of our potential global clients, being able to purchase North American produced, high-quality carbon-neutral battery anode material, is of great importance. Nouveau Monde is determined to establish itself as one of the world's largest and most important sources of anode material for lithium-ion batteries."
A feasibility study completed in 2018 detailed plans for a mine at its Matawinie project in Quebec that would produce 100,000 metric tons of graphite concentrate per year.
Flake graphite produced at Nouveau Monde's processing facility in the nearby town of Saint-Michel-des-Saints will be trucked roughly 100 miles (165 kilometers) to its advanced material plant at Bécancour, where the graphite will be upgraded to the coated spherical graphite that serves as the anode material in most lithium-ion batteries.
As a forward-looking company that is supplying a vital ingredient to the lithium-ion batteries storing renewable energy and powering electric vehicles, Nouveau Monde intends to shrink the carbon footprint of all its Quebec operations to net-zero.
To accomplish this, the graphite producer will power its operations with hydroelectric and will have an all-electric fleet of mining equipment at Matawinie. When operational, the all-electric mining fleet will result in 82% less direct emissions from mining. To accelerate its deployment, Nouveau Monde is collaborating to develop electric systems and infrastructure for heavy vehicles to be used in open-pit mining.
"With approvals and the ministerial decree now in hand, it is time to deploy resources to put our vision of producing the cleanest and greenest graphite-based products possible, into concrete, measurable actions," said Nouveau Monde Graphite President and CEO Eric Desaulniers.
These measurable actions begin with offsetting any and all previous greenhouse gas emissions by the company.
When you add up all direct and indirect emissions, Nouveau Monde is responsible for 2,151 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent since its inception.
The company is offsetting these historical emissions with carbon credits through a portfolio of greenhouse gas offset units from certified Quebec projects with various activities including:
• Landfill gas capture and combustion with energy recovery.
• Production of renewable energy from residual forest biomass.
• Change in fuel selection, from fossils to bioenergy.
• Energy conservation.
Nouveau Monde expects that its carbon-neutral status will be official this month, once the carbon credits are officially registered in the CSA Clean Projects Registry, which provides a portal for companies to report and showcase greenhouse gas emission reductions or removals.
With its carbon slate clean, the company is implementing a climate action plan to keep it clean moving forward.
The unique nature of Nouveau Monde's operations – underpinned by Quebec's renewable hydroelectricity – positions the company to have a significantly lower carbon footprint versus other graphite operations globally.
Nouveau Monde's climate action plan includes measures for offsetting the less than 25,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions the company will emit in the mining of graphite and transforming it into the anode-quality graphite needed for electric vehicle batteries. This includes nature-based carbon sequestration projects.
Nouveau Monde is also planning to invest in the research and development of effective carbon mineral storage solutions, through a circular economy approach – the recycling of industrial mineral residues that are prone to carbonate and that could be used on-site for the management of tailings.
Nouveau Monde will be the developer of these projects and thereby take leadership and ultimate responsibility for them.
Committed to playing an active role in the development of innovative initiatives to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere and counterbalance a part of its own emissions, Nouveau Monde says it is actively working on the creation of nature reserves and the development of land-based carbon sequestration projects.
With an initial commitment of C$50,000, Nouveau Monde will be the first industrial partner in a project to develop the first large-scale forest carbon stock enhancement project in Québec. This project incorporates initiatives for conservation, improvement of harvesting, and reforestation practices across Québec. It involves small and large forest landowners in addition to regional conservation organizations that seek to maintain and enhance ecosystems by monetizing their potential for increased sequestration.
As part of this project, a reinvestment will be evaluated to restore degraded lands in tropical areas in the Caribbean. The goal is to be able to restore and put back into sustainable production one hectare of land for each hectare of land conserved in Québec. It is an initiative that maximizes the impact of each dollar invested in the project by focusing on the natural mechanisms of increased carbon sequestration by photosynthesis in tropical zones.
Nouveau Monde's initial investment will be used to carry out a feasibility study and preliminary design. Based on the results of the study, Nouveau Monde will make a decision on investing an additional C$200,000 in the project over two years. Such an investment would provide Nouveau Monde a secure supply of carbon credits from this major offsetting project at the production cost.
From fully electric mining equipment charged with hydropower to planting tropical forests, Nouveau Monde is taking concrete steps to ensure that it is providing EV and lithium-ion battery manufacturers with an environmentally conscientious source of graphite anode material.
"While building the carbon-neutral mining and battery anode material producer of the future, based in Québec, Canada, we are protecting our ecosystem and creating a legacy that will positively impact our communities, or clients, and the world at large," said Desaulniers.
With development of the Matawinie Mine getting underway, Nouveau Monde plans to deliver the first carbon-neutral graphite to its clients in 2023.
Further details of the plans at Matawinie can be read at Quebec greenlights large graphite mine in the February 17, 2021 edition of Metal Tech News.