(Baie-Comeau) Mason Graphite The company hopes to be able to win government approval by the end of the year to start its graphite mine project at Lac Gueret, 300 kilometers north of Baie-Comeau . Although the project is modest by the scale of mining projects, Manicouagan expects its implementation forward.
Mason Graphite leaders were recently in Baie-Comeau and Pessamit to meet the population who could know the status of the file. Quebec is currently completing its analysis of the environmental impact assessment and if all goes smoothly, the hearings of the BAPE on the environment (BAPE) should begin in the fall, said President and Chief company management, Benoit Gascon.
People attending these meetings have also learned that the project will require a total funding of $ 165 million. About a hundred jobs will be created, but only ten at the mine, which will be 600 meters long and 90 meters deep and has a low environmental footprint, argues the president.
Mason plans to build in 2017 a hub in the regional industrial park of Baie-Comeau. The plant, expected to produce annually 50,000 tons of graphite concentrate, employ sixty people. Mining has obtained favorable conditions of the municipality to settle in Baie-Comeau, which leave from declining taxes for five years.
Gueret Lake mine contains 66 million tonnes of ore grading 17% graphite, exceptional purity level. During the first 25 years of mine life, only 7% of the resources will be extracted, says Mr. Gascon. As the global graphite production dominated 70% by China, is rather modest, the project lake Gueret bring to the market about 10% of current world production, which is around 500 000 tonnes.
Mason will obviously take care not to flood the market with its new mine. “We will manage the project in a responsible manner so as not to affect the markets,” added Benoit Gascon, who believes that some European customers now forced to buy in China will turn readily to the graphite Lake Gueret.
Further step BAPE, Mason Graphite will also enter into an agreement called on the impact and benefits with the Innu community of Pessamit. The mine is located on the ancestral territory of Pessamit, the company has already agreed on a number of things with the Innu, who wish to invest in the project. The agreement on the impacts and benefits establish in particular the number of jobs, training and financial benefits reserved Pessamit.
The main use of graphite is in the steel industry (metal powders, refractory bricks). It is also found in lithium-ion batteries, brake linings, electrical contacts, lubricants and photovoltaic devices, among other things.