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NextSource Materials stock jumps on lease agreement to build graphite plant in Mauritius

NextSource Materials (TSX:NEXT) (OTCQB:NSRCF) said on Wednesday it has signed a long-term lease agreement for a site in the Freeport Zone of Port-Louis for the location of its first battery anode facility (BAF) plant in Mauritius, and has integrated engineering improvements into the plant design and initiated the environmental permitting (EIA) process.

The news comes just days after NextSource submitted an application to build the facility to process graphite in the African island nation.

The plant will have capacity to produce 3,600 tonnes of battery-grade graphite a year, increasing to 14,400 tonnes after 2024, according to filings with the country’s government.

Set within an industrial environment, the site has logistics improvements over the previously leased site, the company said, including direct port access, a high-quality concrete structure requiring minimal modifications with sufficient space to expand the capacity of the plant in the future.

NextSource has pre-ordered process equipment with a production capacity of 3,600 tonnes per annum of spheronized and purified graphite (SPG) and coated SPG. The process equipment is currently being fabricated and assembled offshore and will be shipped to Mauritius once the EIA process is completed.

Graphite concentrate from the company’s Molo mine in Madagascar and equipment for the operation of a small-scale pilot line has already arrived at the site in order to prepare for production of samples for key OEM customers, the company said, adding it is preparing an updated economic assessment for the site.

The quest to bring graphite projects to fruition has become more urgent since China announced in October it will require export permits for the kind of graphite used for electric vehicle batteries.

Africa-mined graphite could help the car industry meet requirements under Washington’s Inflation Reduction Act, which encourages auto makers to be less reliant on Chinese components

NextSource Materials’ stock was up over 12% in afternoon trading in Toronto. Shares were traded over 834,000 times, compared to an average daily volume of 81,198. The company has a C$122 million ($89m) market capitalization.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More