BLACK RIVER-MATHESON – Production is expected to begin this spring at a newly refurbished graphite mineral processing facility in Matheson.
Great Lakes Graphite Inc., based out of Toronto, announced this week it has received permitting approvals for a micronization facility that will take raw graphite material and process it into a more refined and more marketable industrial mineral.
Paul Ferguson, the company’s chief marketing officer, said the Great Lakes is currently in the process of refurbishing the plant located on Vimy Ridge Road, located a few kilometres southeast of the built-up area of Matheson.
He said the company has a graphite mine property, that is not yet in operation, but that the Matheson plant is just what Great Lakes was looking for.
“We do actually have a deposit, located in southwestern Quebec, called the Lochaber Graphite,” Ferguson explained, adding that the deposit is still two or three years away from production.
“We were going along the path of developing that asset, but then we found the Matheson facility. That came to our attention,” Ferguson explained.” This was a facility already in existence, already equipped and already permitted and it just needed to be refurbished.”
Ferguson said one of the key benefits is that the Matheson plant had the same sort of refining equipment needed for graphite processing that can be used for the Lochaber
Ferguson said it was a matter of switching around some sequences in the company’s business plan to acquire a favourable lease agreement and refurbish the Matheson processing facility. He said the investment so far has been in the ballpark of $800,000.
As a result, in order to get the plant into production this year, Ferguson said Great Lakes found a company in Brazil that is mining graphite and can feed the Matheson plant for the first few years.
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