Northern Graphite Comments on New U.S. Graphite Procurement Regulations

May 06, 2024 7:45 AM EDT | Source: Northern Graphite Corporation

  • OEMs must show meaningful progress toward having a North American supply chain in place before January 2027

Ottawa, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - May 6, 2024) - Northern Graphite Corporation (TSXV: NGC) (OTCQB: NGPHF) (FSE: 0NG) (XSTU: 0NG) (the "Company" or "Northern") is pleased to provide comment on the Biden Administration's new, two-year certification requirements for auto and battery makers under the final implementation rules of the Inflation Reduction Act's ("IRA") Section 30D Clean Vehicle Tax Credit.

The Biden administration announced a decision on May 3 that deems graphite as untraceable and allows Original Equipment Manufacturers ("OEMs") a two-year "transition" period to source Battery Anode Material (BAM) from China while local North American production is established. BAM is made from a blend of natural and synthetic graphite and has been deemed untraceable due to the difficulty in determining the source of crude oil used to manufacture synthetic graphite. The Administration's decision requires OEMs to commit to offtake agreements with North American graphite producers in the interim so that they can source from the domestic supply chain when the two-year exemption from FEOC (Foreign Entity of Concern) requirements expires at the end of 2026.

"We look forward to continuing to work with OEMs to reach supply and price offtake agreements that will enable us to finance our production plans and be ready to supply gigafactories with the graphite anode material they need for a viable EV revolution in North America," said Northern Chief Executive Officer Hugues Jacquemin. "OEMs must commit to sourcing IRA-compliant graphite from North American suppliers, and establishing these commitments in a timely manner will be critical to a sustainable local industry that is competitive and not dependent on sourcing graphite from FEOCs like China."

Northern Graphite is the only producer of flake graphite in North America. Its cornerstone Lac des Isles mine in Quebec, Canada has been supplying traditional graphite markets for over 30 years, from refractory bricks for steelmaking to heat management in mobile phones and friction and lubrication products for brakes and brake linings for the global automobile industry. The Company is also working toward a restart of its Okanjande mine in Namibia in 2025, subject to financing. The Lac de Isles and Okanjande mines and facilities are fully permitted and IRA-compliant.

Northern is a member of the North American Graphite Alliance (NAGA), which represents North American and Canadian producers of battery-grade natural and synthetic graphite, both of which are critical and the leading component in the production of lithium-ion batteries. NAGA has been consulting with the U.S. government and on May 3 issued a statement urging the Biden Administration to stringently impose its new two-year certification requirements for OEMs under the IRA's Section 30D Clean Vehicle Tax Credit. The IRA's Section 30D credit encourages automakers to source components — including critical minerals within lithium-ion batteries — domestically so that consumers can receive a maximum $7,500 tax credit when purchasing an eligible EV.

This final rule grants OEMs a two-year window to continue purchasing graphite mined, manufactured, and processed in China, until January 1, 2027, upon demonstrating a meaningful procurement plan to secure compliant supply chains by the time the exemption expires.

"With NAGA, we look forward to continuing conversations with government and with OEMs to establish meaningful procurement plans to secure IRA-compliant supply chains," said Mr. Jacquemin.

About Northern Graphite
Northern, the only flake graphite producing company in North America, is a Canadian, TSX Venture Exchange listed company that is focused on becoming a world leader in producing natural graphite and upgrading it into high-value products critical to the green economy, including anode material for lithium-ion batteries/EVs, fuel cells and graphene, as well as advanced industrial technologies.

Northern expects to become one of the largest natural graphite producers outside of China when its Namibian operations come back online. The Company also has the large-scale Bissett Creek project in Ontario and substantial additional measured and indicated resources in Namibia and the Mousseau property in Quebec which are expected to be sources of continued production growth in the future. All projects have "battery quality" graphite and are located close to infrastructure in politically stable jurisdictions.

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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements and information are frequently characterized by words such as "plan", "expect", "project", "intend", "believe", "anticipate", "estimate", "potential", "possible" and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may", "will", "could", or "should" occur. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding, among others, the Company's plans to extend the mine life of its LDI mine, develop its Baie-Comeau Battery Anode Material facility, intentions to restart the Okanjande mine in Namibia and development plans for its other projects including Bissett Creek. All such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and analyses made by management based on their experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors they believe are appropriate in the circumstances. However, these statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected including, but not limited to, unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of other parties to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; unexpected failure or inadequacy of infrastructure and the failure of ongoing and contemplated studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued studies, development or operations and the inability to raise required financing. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements.

Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based on what management believes are reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with them. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

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