JOHANNESBURG – Arne Frandsen’s great green graphite offering debuts Monday when trading of the shares of Nouveau Monde Graphite begin on the New York Stock Exchange.
There is no half measure with Nouveau Monde Graphite chairperson and Pallinghurst managing partner and co-founder Frandsen when it comes to greenness.
When he says ‘green’, it is not just the graphite anode he is talking about, but the mine as well. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)
His thinking is the same for the group’s Sedibelo Platinum Mines in South Africa’s North West, where an innovative new platinum group metals (PGMs) mining and processing project slashes 82% off electricity use and elevates platinum to a new high level of greenness.
Frandsen and his partner, Andrew Willis, have spent the past three years developing a strategy to deliver the largest battery grade graphite mine in the world, which he told Mining Weekly in a Zoom interview is fuelled 100% by hydroelectricity.
“So, there’s zero carbon footprint. The little carbon footprint we have we’re offsetting through planting more trees on our mining area.
“We’re presenting something which is 100% green, 100% carbon neutral. If you want to have decarbonisation and electric vehicles, it doesn’t work if we as miners are polluting the planet as we extract the minerals,” he reiterates.
“This will be the largest company of its kind outside China and, as you know, if you want a battery, you need both a cathode and an anode and we will produce the anode,” he explained.
In addition to listing and trading on the NYSE in US dollars, Nouveau Monde’s common shares continue to be listed and trade on the TSX-V in Canadian dollars and Nouveau Monde’s common shares will also continue to trade on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
In a downward market, this week’s announcement of Monday’s debut trading sent the share up more than 10%.
“There’s a lot of excitement around it. The people are more concerned now about supply chains and certainty of supply, and that comes in addition to where we talk about being green and making sure that we are sustainable in the material that we’re producing. Any supply chain should be diverse and right now we’ll be the only one of size outside of China.
Regarding the New York Stock Exchange, he said: “There’s an openness from the New York Stock Exchange. It is the largest capital market in the world and it has been really interesting for me to spend the last year in dealing with the New York Stock Exchange. It also gives me a lot of hope for potential for companies outside of Canada as well,” he said.
PGMs producer Sedibelo Platinum Mines Limited, of which Frandsen is chairperson, is expanding its Pilanesberg Platinum Mines and building the revolutionary new ‘green’ Kell processing plant, which uses only 18% of the energy normally associated with conventional PGMs smelting, axes associated carbon emissions, improves recoveries, lowers operating costs and eliminates sulphur dioxide emissions.
Earlier this year, Frandsen told Mining Weekly that he had been in contact with investors in New York who are very interested in what the group is doing, because their mandate is to invest in businesses that lead to a lower carbon footprint for the globe, and that is exactly what Kell is doing.
Kell’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from concentrate to final refined metals are only 19% of the CO2 emissions caused by the current smelting/refining route.
“It’s not only what we want, but that’s what our investors want and what the consumers want,” he said.
Sedibelo shares an interest in Kell South Africa with South Africa’s State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and founder Keith Liddell through Lifezone.
“The IDC has been an enormously supportive investor since 2012. They’ve put money in, they’ve put quality management in and when it comes to Kell, before it was fashionable, the IDC was part of it. I’m extremely happy and we’re very fortunate to have this relationship with the government through the IDC,” Frandsen added.
The revolutionary Kell process comes at a third of the capital cost of smelting/refining and at half of its operating cost.
End products can be customised and the proposed Sedibelo Kell plant will be producing refined 99.95% PGM metal products.