Battery Metals

  • Three-way partnership pairs NextSource with a leading processor and a supplier of battery anode material within the Tesla supply chain.
  • Provides NextSource with a complete, turn-key facility that is a duplicate of the current facilities that are processing spheronized and purified graphite (SPG) for lithium-ion batteries ("LiB") by current suppliers to Tesla and other electric vehicle ("EV") and hybrid vehicle ("HEV") manufacturers.
  • Enables NextSource to gain immediate access to leading and established spheroidization technology intellectual property. As a result, the time required for final QA/QC of its SuperFlake® graphite with other automotive manufacturers can be significantly reduced.
  • Commissioning of the battery anode facility is targeted for Q4 2022.
  • Partnership is exclusive to NextSource and can provide automotive manufacturers a complete and proven anode solution using non-Chinese sourced feedstock or value-added anode material.
  • NextSource is well positioned to become a significant strategic supplier of battery anode material for the electric vehicle revolution, providing a fully integrated graphite product from "the mine to the car".

NextSource Materials Inc. (TSX:NEXT)(OTCQB:NSRCF) ("NextSource" or the "Company") is pleased to announce it has finalized a binding agreement ("the Partnership") to construct and operate a value-added, battery anode facility ("BAF") to produce spheronized and purified graphite ("SPG") required in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicle ("EV") and hybrid vehicle ("HEV") applications

The Partnership is exclusive to NextSource and pairs the Company with two well-established and leading companies that process and supply SPG to leading Japanese anode and battery makers, who in turn supply the Tesla supply chain and other major automotive companies ("OEMs").

This three-way Partnership will provide NextSource with a complete, turn-key anode facility that is an exact duplicate of the facility that is currently processing value-added spheronized and purified graphite for lithium-ion batteries by one of current suppliers to Tesla and other international OEMs.

Commissioning of the BAF is targeted for Q4 2022 and will be located proximal to key demand markets for graphite anode material. South Africa, Europe and North America are the jurisdictions currently being considered for the location of the facility.

Sir Mick Davis, Chairman of NextSource commented,

"This collaboration is part of NextSource's downstream growth plan and partners the Company with prominent and established processors and suppliers of graphite anode material to the Tesla supply chain and other global automotive OEMs. NextSource is well positioned to be a significant strategic supplier of high-quality flake graphite to major battery anode customers globally, while simultaneously gaining an immediate foothold into the high-growth markets for EVs, as well as the burgeoning energy storage market that will be reliant on graphite anode material."

President and CEO, Craig Scherba P. Geo., commented,

"With our Molo project fully financed and commissioning of the Molo mine expected in March of the next year, this partnership fulfils our strategy of having upstream integration supporting the battery anode facility at any scale the market may require. This gives NextSource the enviable "pole position" in the battery race to have a fully commercial and vertically intergraded graphite operation."

THE TESLA SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS

The Partners consist of NextSource's Japanese offtake partner ("Japanese Partner") and the Japanese Partner's Chinese SPG processing partner ("Chinese Partner").

The Japanese Partner is a prominent Japanese trading company who is a major supplier of SPG for anode material in lithium-ion batteries for EV and HEV applications. It currently supplies graphite anode material to the majority of Japanese automotive OEMs and the Tesla supply chain.

The Chinese Partner is a leading processor of SPG for the EV and HEV markets who owns and operates graphite anode processing facilities in China. This Chinese Partner is regarded by OEM anode producers to be a best-in-class processor and one of the highest quality suppliers of SPG globally.

The Japanese and Chinese Partners have had an alliance together for over 30 years and have been processing battery-grade graphite for over 15 years. To protect certain confidential aspects of the Partnership, the Partners have requested not to be identified at this time.

Since 2018, all three parties have been in discussions regarding a potential supply chain partnership to supply value-added graphite material using SuperFlake® graphite concentrate. As announced in April 2020, Letter of Intent was signed by all parties to collaborate on the construction of a battery anode facility that would mirror the Partners' current SPG processing facility in China in order to provide OEMs the growing desire for optionality in sourcing both graphite concentrate feedstock and anode material from outside of China.

COLLABORATION DETAILS

  • NextSource will be responsible for the sourcing of all funds needed to construct the BAF and will wholly own and operate the facility.
  • The Chinese Partner will act as the technical partner and provide NextSource with a complete, turn-key BAF operation that is a duplicate of the facilities it currently operates in China that is producing SPG for the Tesla supply chain. It will price, design and source all required graphite processing equipment, design and develop the process flowsheets, and provide all required training and operational know how related to the production of anode material. It will receive a 3% licencing fee based on the total annual sales value of anode material sold.
  • TheJapanese Partner will utilize its network with OEMs and act as NextSource's exclusive agent in the sales, marketing and trading of anode material to OEM anode suppliers and to OEMs directly. It will receive a 5% sales commission based on the total annual sales value of anode material sold.
  • Both the Japanese and Chinese Partners will participate in the development of 5-year business plans related to the expansion of the BAF.

The Company will finalize targeted initial production volumes for the BAF as well as plant designs, equipment list and total capital costs for the BAF by the end of May 2021. The Company will then initiate a technical study to determine the associated operating cost ("OPEX") based on each of the proposed locations.

ABOUT SUPERFLAKE® GRAPHITE

As announced in November 2015, independent testing by various third-party end users of flake graphite confirmed that NextSource's SuperFlake® graphite meets or exceeds quality requirements for all major end-markets for natural flake graphite. The major end-markets are refractories, anode material for lithium-ion batteries, specialty graphite foils used as essential components in the chemical, aeronautical and fire-retardant industries, and graphene in high-end ink and substrate applications.

As detailed in the Molo 2019 Feasibility Study, SuperFlake® graphite concentrate can achieve 98% carbon (C) purity with simple flotation, has excellent thermal expansion, can be easily upgraded to 99.97% purity (battery grade), contains no deleterious substances and has high crystallinity.

SuperFlake® graphite concentrate has excellent flake size distribution that is well above the global average, with 46.4 percent being classified as +80 (large), +65 (extra large) and +48 (jumbo) mesh in flake size. Specifically, 23.6 percent of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate is +48 mesh and greater in size.

SuperFlake® is a registered trademark in the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, U.K. and the European Union. These key jurisdictions represent the top demand markets for flake graphite and the locations where NextSource intends to sell its SuperFlake® graphite and anode material.

About NextSource Materials Inc.

NextSource Materials Inc. is a battery materials development company based in Toronto, Canada that is intent on becoming a fully integrated, global supplier of critical battery and technology materials needed to power the sustainable energy revolution.

Targeting commercial production by April 2022, the Company's Molo graphite project in Madagascar is regarded as one of the largest and highest-quality graphite deposits globally and the only project with SuperFlake® graphite.

With expected low-cost operations and both its mining and environmental licenses in place, NextSource Materials has forged strategic and exclusive partnerships with key supply chain participants to provide graphite-based anode material to international OEMs for lithium-ion and fuel cell applications, and graphite for high-end, value-added applications where graphite is an essential material.

The Company will enter into production in phases and utilize an all-modular build approach to construct the Molo graphite mine. Initial production is expected to be approximately 17,000 tonnes per annum ("tpa") over the first two years of production, followed by a significant expansion in production planned in year three to match market demand.

NextSource Materials is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol "NEXT" and on the OTCQB under the symbol "NSRCF".

Please see "Molo Feasibility Study, National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Molo Graphite Project located near the village of Fotadrevo in the Province of Toliara, Madagascar Prepared by Erudite Strategies (Pty) Ltd" dated May 31, 2019 for certain other details and assumptions relating to the parameters of the project, mineral resource and reserve estimates and data verification procedures.

Mr. Craig Scherba, P.Geo., President and CEO of NextSource, is the qualified person who reviewed and approved the technical information provided in this press release.

For further information about NextSource visit our website at www.nextsourcematerials.com or contact us a +1.416.364.4911 or email Brent Nykoliation, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development at brent@nextsourcematerials.com or Craig Scherba, President and CEO at craig@nextsourcematerials.com.

Safe Harbour: This press release contains statements that may constitute "forward-looking information" or "forward-looking statements" ("forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this release include statements regarding collaboration agreements to build a value-added SPG (anode) facility, time to commissioning the BAF, the demand for EVs and HEVs, the use of SuperFlake, , successful and on-budget construction of the Molo Graphite Project, SPG plant and BAF, sourcing the funds needed to construct the BAF, expansion of the BAF, estimated future production from the Molo Graphite Project, completion of the technical studies and expansion of the Molo Graphite Project. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates and assumptions that involve a number of risks, which could cause actual results to vary and, in some instances, to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company and described in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including the risk that the Molo graphite mine is not built on the expected time and cost estimates, that the mineral reserve and resource estimates for the Molo Graphite Project are incorrect, that expected recoveries and costs to produce SPG are incorrect, and that permits and licences to operate the Molo Graphite Project may not be renewed or may be revoked. No assurance can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur or, if any of them do so, what benefits the Company will derive there from. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as at the date of this news release and the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable securities laws.

SOURCE: NextSource Materials Inc.



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NextSource Materials

NextSource Materials

Overview

NextSource Materials: Construction of Molo Graphite Mine is Fully Funded; Production in Q2 2022

Vision Blue Resources Ltd, a newly created battery commodity/resource-focused investment company founded by Sir Mick Davis (former CEO of Xstrata Plc), has made a significant strategic investment in NextSource Materials to fully fund the construction of its Molo graphite mine in Madagascar. Production is scheduled in Q2 2022.

According to UK’s Roskill Research, battery demand for raw material graphite is expected to grow by approximately 23 per year-over-year for the next decade. This dramatic spike in demand is due to graphite’s critical role as the anode material in lithium-ion batteries. Electric vehicle batteries contain between 40 to 60 kilograms of graphite. By volume, graphite is the largest raw material in a lithium-ion battery. As the electric vehicle market continues to grow, investing in the companies that produce these valuable battery materials and have first-mover advantage can provide significant value-creation and exposure to this expanding market.

NextSource Materials Inc. is a battery materials development company based in Toronto, Canada that is preparing to begin construction of its 100%-owned Molo Graphite Project in southern Madagascar. The Molo Graphite Project is a fully permitted and funded project that hold a large high quality flake graphite deposit and is the only project with SuperFlake® graphite.

The Company will utilise an all-modular build approach to constructing the Molo mine. Initial production is expected to be 17,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) over the first two years of production followed by mine expansion in Year three. Offtakes are in place for more than 100% of initial production.

Graphite in Madagascar is renowned for its quality and flake size. For almost a century, Madagascar has been exporting flake graphite to the world but only in small quantities. Molo, as well as its Green Giant vanadium project within close proximity, leverage mining-friendly conditions and resource-rich mineralization to prime the company for economic growth and production success.

For further information about NextSource visit our website at www.nextsourcematerials.com or contact us a +1.416.364.4911 or email Brent Nykoliation, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development at brent@nextsourcematerials.com or email Craig Scherba, President and CEO at craig@nextsourcematerials.com.

NextSource’s 100 percent owned and fully permitted Molo graphite project drew investor attention for its large-high-quality flake graphite deposit and unique SuperFlake graphite concentrate. The company recently announced that former Xstrata CEO Sir Mick Davis committed a strategic investment of US$29.5 million in NextSource mining operations. This investment offers valuable full funding for the entire build of the Molo graphite mine.

Vision Blue Resources, the firm that Davis founded in December 2020 to invest in battery and technology minerals, selected the Molo graphite project as its flagship investment, noting that the graphite market has been underinvested considering the increasing demand in recent years. “This investment in NextSource underlines our belief that the massive secular change in demand for critical battery material resources is not being met by an appropriate supply-side response, largely as a result of capital constraints,” Davis stated.

The company intends on utilizing an all-modular build approach to constructing the Molo mine. With full funding, initial production could reach approximately 17,000 tonnes per annum over the first two years of production and mine expansion in later years.

Proceeds could also fund the fast-tracked completion of two technical studies to confirm the viability of mine expansion and construct a value-added graphite processing plant to produce spheronized, purified graphite (SPG).

In April 2021, the company finalized an exclusive partnership with two well-established and leading companies that process and supply SPG to leading Japanese anode and battery makers, who in turn supply the Tesla supply chain and other major automotive companies (“OEMs”). The company also recently executed an offtake commercial agreement with thyssenkrupp Materials Trading GmbH, an international trading and services company headquartered in Essen, Germany, for the sale of 35,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of the SuperFlake® graphite products.

NextSource’s other highly prospective project, the Green Giant vanadium project in Madagascar, stands out for its sediment-hosted deposit profile, which is only seen in approximately 5 percent of total vanadium occurrences.

The company believes strongly in vanadium’s potential market growth with the popularization of VRBs as a leading technology for green energy applications. Since project acquisition in 2007, NextSource has spent over US$14 million on the exploration and development of Green Giant.

NextSource’s management team brings years of professional and field experience in the resource, mining and financial sectors. Together, the deeply connected team primes the company for significant economic success and the drive to meet the world’s increasingly high demand for graphite.

Company Highlights

  • The Molo graphite project is a fully funded asset with rich resources and high-quality graphite. The deposit ranks as one of the largest-known and highest quality flake graphite deposits in the world.
  • Vision Blue Resources committed a strategic investment into the Molo graphite project. Vision CEO Mick Davis invested approximately US$29.5 million over two private placement equities and a non-dilutive royalty agreement.
  • The company’s Green Giant vanadium project is an advanced stage exploration project that is one of the world’s largest known vanadium deposits. The sediment-hosted geophysical profile presents NextSource with unique development and exploration potential.
  • Mick Davis joined NextSource as chairman upon closing the first initial private placement. The mining heavyweight brings years of valuable experience in project development and financing expertise.
  • NextSource secured US$29.5 million to fully fund Phase1 of the Molo Graphite Mine and fast track key technical studies.
  • The Company has initiated the construction of Phase One of the mine. Construction will take approximately 12 months and mine commissioning is expected to begin in April 2022
  • NextSource also secured a partnership with companies within the Tesla supply chain to build a battery anode facility and entered into a commercial partnership and offtake agreement with thyssenkrupp Materials Trading for the sale of 35,000 tonnes per annum of SuperFlake® graphite concentrate.
  • On July 22, 2021, Nextsource has been accepted as a member of both the European Battery Alliance (EBA) and the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).

Key Projects

Molo Graphite Project

The Molo graphite project is a wholly owned feasibility-stage asset that ranks as one of the largest-known and highest quality flake graphite deposits in the world. The property is over 62.5 hectares, sits in the Tulear region of South-western Madagascar and is located 11.5 kilometers east of the town of Fotadrevo.

Total combined graphite resources are measured at 141.28 million tonnes at 6.13 percent total graphitic carbon, with a contained ore reserve of 22.44 million tonnes at 7.02 percent graphitic carbon. After resource delineation, drilling and trenching campaigns conducted in 2012, the company discovered Molo hosted surface-level mineralization, ideal for low-cost, open-pit mining. This could significantly advance production timelines and fast-track predicted milestones and potential discovery.

This asset is also unique for its almost 50 percent premium-priced large and jumbo flake graphite profile. Widespread jumbo flake occurrences have primed the project for significant high-quality yield with SuperFlake® concentrates inferred between 97 percent to 98 percent carbon purity with simple flotation alone.

The project’s exploration and development include completed Feasibility Studies from 2015, 2017 and 2019, Mining and Environmental permitting and full funding. In Q2 2021, the company will commence construction of the modular plant.

For all details and assumptions relating to the parameters of the Molo project, mineral resource and reserve estimates and data verification procedures, please see “Molo Feasibility Study, National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Molo Graphite Project located near the village of Fotadrevo in the Province of Toliara, Madagascar Prepared by Erudite Strategies (Pty) Ltd” dated May 31, 2019.
Green Giant Vanadium Project

The 100 percent owned Green Giant vanadium project is an advanced stage exploration project located in South-central Madagascar and is one of the world’s largest known vanadium deposits. The project leverages good mining conditions and convenient close proximity to NextSource’s flagship Molo graphite project.

The Green Giant Project is a rare type of vanadium deposit because it is sediment-hosted. No magnetic metals are associated with Green Giant’s vanadium, making the project ideal for producing high-purity vanadium pentoxide, a key material in vanadium redox batteries.

The property’s National Instrument 43-101 compliant resource measures an estimated 60 million tonnes of vanadium pentoxide at an average grade of almost 0.7 percent at a 0.5 percent cut-off.

Since 2008, Green Giant has seen extensive diamond drilling campaigns, soil sampling, airborne and ground geophysics and EM surveying. NextSource intends to continue developing the property’s three main zones, which are referred to as the Jaky, Manga and Mainty deposits.

Management Team

Craig Scherba, P.Geo. — President and CEO

Craig Scherba was appointed president and CEO in September 2012 and has been a director since January 2010. Previously, Scherba served as vice president, Exploration of the company, since January 2010. Prior, Scherba was a managing partner for six years with Taiga Consultants Ltd., a mining exploration consulting company. He has been a professional geologist since 2000, and his expertise includes supervising large Canadian and international exploration programs. Scherba was an integral member of the exploration team that developed Nevsun Resources’ high-grade gold, copper and zinc Bisha project in Eritrea. He served as the company’s country and exploration manager in Madagascar during its initial exploration stage, discovering both the Molo Graphite and the Green Giant Vanadium deposits.

Robin Borley, Pr. Tech Eng — Senior Vice President, Mine Development

Robin Borley is a Graduate mining engineering professional and a certified mine manager with more than 25 years of international mining experience building and operating mining ventures. He has held senior management positions both Internationally and within the South African mining industry. He has most recently served as mining director for DRA Mineral Projects and was instrumental as the COO of Red Island Minerals in developing a Madagascar coal venture.

His diverse career has spanned resource project management, evaluation, exploration and mine development. Robin has completed several mine evaluations, including operational and financial assessment of new and existing operations across various resource sectors. He has experience in managing underground and surface mining operations from both the contractor and owner-miner environments.

Brent Nykoliation, BCom (Hons) — Executive Vice President, Corporate Development

Brent Nykoliation joined the senior management team at NextSource Materials as vice president, Corporate Development. In 2007, he oversaw all communication with analysts, institutional investors and strategic offtake partners for the company. He brings over 20 years of management experience, having held senior marketing and strategic development positions with several Fortune 500 corporations in Canada, notably Nestlé, Home Depot and Whirlpool. Nykoliation holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours degree from Queen’s University.

Marc Johnson, CFA, CPA — CFO

Marc Johnson is a bilingual senior executive with over 20 years of business experience, including ten years at public corporations as CFO, VP Corporate Development and other financial management positions, and ten years in capital markets in investment banking and equity research. Johnson is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Chartered Professional Accountant and joined as CFO in October 2015. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal.

Board of Directors

Sir Mick Davis — Chairman

Sir Mick Davis is the CEO of Vision Blue Resources and a highly successful mining executive accredited with building Xstrata plc into one of the largest mining companies in the world prior to its acquisition by Glencore plc. Before listing Xstrata on the LSE as CEO he was CFO of Billiton plc and Chairman of Billiton Coal which he joined from the position of Eskom CFO. During his career in mining he has raised over US$40bn from global capital markets and successfully completed over US$120bn of corporate transactions, including the creation of the Ingwe Coal Corporation in South Africa; the listing of Billiton on the LSE; the merger of BHP and Billiton; as well as numerous transactions at Xstrata culminating in the sale to Glencore plc. Sir Mick Davis is a Chartered Accountant by profession, and holds an honours degree in Commerce from Rhodes University, South Africa and an Honorary Doctorate from Bar Ilan University, Israel.

Brett Whalen — Director (Non-executive)

Brett Whalen has over 20 years of investment banking and M&A expertise, spending over 16 of those years at Dundee Corporation. During his tenure at Dundee Corp., Whalen was directly involved in completing approximately $2 billion in M&A deals and helped raise over $10 billion in the capital for resource sector companies. While a vice president and portfolio manager of Goodman & Co., he oversaw the investment of $6 million into NextSource, enabling the company to achieve key technical milestones, notably the completion of its July 2017 Phase One Feasibility Study and the concept and design of the whole modular build approach NextSource will be utilized for construction of both Phase One and Phase Two of the Molo mine. Whalen has extensive knowledge of both graphite and vanadium and the general battery materials industry.

Whalen has held Board seats of several TSX-listed and privately held companies and holds a BA (Honours) degree in Economics and Finance from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Ian Pearce – Director

Mr. Ian Pearce is the former CEO of Xstrata Nickel, and prior to that was the former COO of Falconbridge Limited, which was acquired by Xstrata Plc in 2006. Xstrata Plc’s acquisition of Falconbridge was one of the largest mining takeovers globally and one of the largest takeover bids in Canadian history. Mr. Pearce was also a founding partner of X2 Resources who, along with Sir Mick Davis, made up the team of six ex-Xstrata executives who formed the mid-tier diversified mining and metals company. He currently serves as a director for several global companies in the mining and metals, energy, and sustainability industries:

Mr. Pearce previously served as Chair of the Mining Association of Canada and Chair of the Nickel Institute. He holds a BSc from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and an HNDT in Mineral Processing from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Christopher Kruba — QC

Mr. Kruba is Vice-President and Legal Counsel to Nostrum Capital Corporation and a number of related corporations that are part of the Toldo Group. The Toldo Group is headquartered in Windsor, Ontario and is composed of several privately held corporations in Canada and the United States, some of which have large manufacturing operations in diversified sectors and others which are involved in active and passive investments across capital markets throughout North America, Europe and Africa. In addition to his responsibilities as counsel to the Toldo Group, Mr. Kruba serves as corporate secretary to all the companies, is a member of group’s investment committee and he serves on the board of directors of many of the companies.

Mr. Kruba has extensive manufacturing and capital markets experience and has lead merges and acquisitions and participated in the management and strategic planning for numerous companies, including venture capital corporations in which the group has invested.

Nostrum Capital Corporation and Mr. Kruba personally have been investors in NextSource Materials Inc. since 2011.

Dr. David McNeely — Consultant

Dr. McNeely has over 25 years of practise in Anesthesia and Critical Care, and has vast expertise in humanitarian and social responsibility best practices. He has worked extensively in causes which have underscored the critical relationships between health and responsible environmental stewardship, with a particular focus and a passion on implementing clean energy initiatives and mining practices.

He has participated in medical mission to Inuvik, NWT and Mongolia, where environmental conditions have had devastating health consequences. He was a Founding Member of Galliano Greenhouses, which supplied trees for urban reforestation projects in the GVRD and is a member of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). He has been a UBC Associate Clinical Instructor since 2008 and involved in medical student and resident teaching and has experience in working effectively and collaboratively with health authorities and the government.

Dr. McNeely has been a major shareholder of NextSource Materials since 2014.

Dr. McNeely received his BSc.Hons. from St. Francis Xavier University(84), a medical degree from McGill (89) and Anesthesia Fellowship from UBC(94). Along with his clinical practice at Surrey Memorial Hospital, he has had numerous executive positions in department leadership, patient safety and advocacy, program implementation and review, quality improvement, professional practice oversight, healthcare and professional promotion, and physician/government contract negotiations.

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Private Placement

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