Nouveau Monde Graphite files Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for its Matawinie Project

by Keith Powell
Nouveau Monde's demonstration plant which will operate until 2020.

Nouveau Monde's demonstration plant which will operate until 2020. — Photo courtesy Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc.

Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. ("Nouveau Monde") (TSX Venture Exchange: NOU)  is pleased to announce that it has filed its Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ("ESIA") for the Matawinie Project with the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (« MELCC »).

The filing of the ESIA is an important step in the permitting of the project by the ministerial authorities, which will render its decision by decree. This study is conducted according to the principles of sustainable development and in accordance with the MELCC Environmental Impact Assessment and Review Procedure. This includes the eligibility analysis following the filing of the ESIA, a public information period, environmental analysis by departmental experts and, if requested, a public hearing mandate entrusted to the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).

The ESIA highlights the social and environmental benefits and impacts of the Matawinie project and proposes mitigating measures to reduce negative impacts while improving benefits. Since 2015, Nouveau Monde has engaged in collaborative discussion with the  local community and key stakeholders, including the Atikamekw community of Manawan. In parallel, several in-depth studies were carried-out in order to better understand the local environment and accordingly propose a project that addresses the identified issues.

Several innovative mining initiatives have been integrated into the Matawinie project design including:

  • The desire to operate an all-electric mine. To this end, Nouveau Monde will continue the technological and economic validation of this concept in partnership with various major mining equipment manufacturers;
  • The management of tailings and waste rock by co-disposal, thus avoiding the use of tailing ponds, and dams and the environmental risks associated with them;
  • Prioritize in-pit backfilling of tailings and waste rock to limit the project’s footprint;
  • The gradual restoration of the mining site throughout the period of operation of the project;
  • Mining operations schedules respecting the occasional land users present in the sector;
  • Maximization of local and regional socio-economic benefits by supporting local training and hiring as well as prioritizing local business partnerships, including with the community of Manawan.
  • Offering a voluntary acquisition program to the landowners located within a radius of 1 km of the projected open pit boundary.

By incorporating these mitigating measures into the ESIA, Nouveau Monde is limiting the main impacts of the project to the mine site, thereby preserving the current ambiance of the community of Saint-Michel-des-Saints and Saint-Zénon as well as the tourist sites and natural attributes of the Upper Matawinie region.

"We are very proud of the filing of our ESIA. Since the beginning of the Matawinie project, our team has worked hard to ensure that the project seamlessly integrates into the local community while minimizing the environmental footprint. This has been an overriding principal which is reflected throughout our study, "said Eric Desaulniers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nouveau Monde Graphite. "This step is a decisive point for us in our project evolution which we believe will contribute to the vitality and the economic diversification of the Upper Matawinie region while developing a strategic mineral resource with a low carbon footprint, essential to the energy transition plan spearheaded by the Province of Quebec. "

The ESIA was prepared by SNC-Lavalin, with the contribution of several other collaborators and experts and was developed in compliance with the legal and regulatory requirements of the Quebec sustainable development Act and its 16 guidelines introduced in 2006 by the Government of Quebec.

The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the Matawinie project will shortly be made available on the Quebec Government’s Environmental Assessment Register.

The technical information presented in this news release was drafted by Antoine Cloutier, P. Geo and chief geologist for Nouveau Monde and reviewed by Eric Desaulniers, M.Sc., P.Geo., President and CEO of Nouveau Monde, both are Qualified Persons under National Instrument 43-101 guidelines.


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. Nouveau Monde will operate its demonstration plant until 2020. During this period, Nouveau Monde 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, Nouveau Monde’s team develops its project with the utmost respect of neighboring communities, while favoring a minimal ecological footprint. Nouveau Monde’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.

Forward-looking statements apply. 

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