SAINT-MICHEL-DE-SAINTS, QUÉBEC, April 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Mr. Paul-Émile Ottawa, Chief of the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan (“CDAM“) and Mr. Constant Awashish, Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation and Atikamekw Sipi (“CNA“) and Mr. Eric Desaulniers, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (“Nouveau Monde“) (TSX Venture Exchange: NOU) are proud to announce the signing of a Pre-Development Agreement (“PDA“) for the Matawinie Project. The PDA outlines the respective rights and interests of all parties with respect to pre-development activities, including those related to the demonstration plant, and provides a guideline for negotiating an Impact and Benefit Agreement (“IBA“) for the Matawinie Project.
CDAM and CNA and NMG support the development of the demonstration plant in a manner that respects the environment, sustainability principles, culture and lifestyle of the Atikamekw Nation. As part of the PDA, Nouveau Monde will provide training, employment and business opportunities to members of the Atikamekw Nation, as well as establish a joint training fund with the CDAM and the CNA.
All signatories to the PDA are committed to developing a positive and mutually beneficial relationship based on trust and mutual respect and reconciling their respective interests in relation to the Matawinie Project envisioned by Nouveau Monde. Accordingly, the PDA sets out the principles that will govern the discussions and negotiations leading to the conclusion of the IBA for the Matawinie Project.
“The PDA is an important step in the evolution of our project and our relationship with the local communities in which we operate. The PDA has set a collaborative tone for future negotiations and I look forward to continuing to work with our major stakeholders,” explains Eric Desaulniers, President and CEO of Nouveau Monde. The CDAM Chief, Paul-Émile Ottawa commented, “The PDA formalizes the existing respectful and lasting relationship between Nouveau Monde and the community of Manawan”. CNA Grand Chief, Constant Awashish added, “The PDA is the blueprint for future discussions between Nouveau Monde and the Atikamekw Nation regarding the development of the Matawinie Project.”
About the Conseil des Atikamekw de Manawan
The CDAM is composed of Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa and six (6) councillors respectively elected in the customary manner by the Manawan Atikamekw, and he acts on behalf of all members of that community. The Manawan community is located 120 kilometres west of La Tuque and 72 kilometres north of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, on the south shore of the Métabeskéga Lake.
About the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw
Founded in 1982, the CNA is a non-profit organization that sprang from the will of Manawan Atikamekw, Opitciwan and Wemotaci councils to unite for the negotiation of the comprehensive land claim of the Atikamekw Nation in the territory that the council appoint the “Nitaskinan”. In parallel, the CNA is actively negotiating an agreement in principle with the Canadian and Quebecois governments in view of a treaty signing. The CNA also offers programs and services to the entire Atikamekw population. As a tribal council, the CNA dispenses counselling services such as technical services and council in economic development management. Other delegated public services are also offered such as social services and educational, linguistic and cultural services. The CNA also plays a political role that supports and promotes historical, political, economic, cultural and social aspirations of the Atikamekw Nation.
About Nouveau Monde Graphite
In 2015, Nouveau Monde Graphite discovered a major and high-quality graphite deposit on its Matawinie property, located in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, 150 km North of Montréal. This discovery led to the completion of a Feasibility Study, the results of which were announced on October 24, 2018. The Feasibility Study revealed strong economics with projected graphite concentrate production level of 100,000 tonnes per year over a 26-year period. Nouveau Monde will operate its demonstration plant until 2020. During this period, Nouveau Monde expects the production of 2,000 tonnes of concentrated flake graphite to qualify its products with North American and international clients.
Moreover, in a vertical integration and sustainable development perspective, Nouveau Monde is planning the establishment of a large-scale graphite downstream transformation facility, catering to the needs of the booming lithium-ion battery market. With over 60 years of experience in the world of graphite, Nouveau Monde’s team develops its project with the utmost respect of neighboring communities, while favoring a minimal ecological footprint. Nouveau Monde’s project is privileged by direct access to the workforce and infrastructure needed to operate its mining project, and it can also rely on an abundant, affordable and renewable source of hydroelectricity.
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Many of these uncertainties and contingencies can directly or indirectly affect, and could cause, actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management’s expectations and plans relating to the future. The Corporation disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or to explain any material difference between subsequent actual events and such forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable law. Further information regarding Corporation is available in the SEDAR database (www.sedar.com) and on the Corporation’s website at: www.nouveaumonde.ca