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NextSource Materials Inc. (TSX:NEXT) (OTCQB:NSRCF) (“NextSource” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that commissioning of the Company’s Molo Graphite Mine in Madagascar has been initiated and the installation of the solar and battery facility for the hybrid power plant is in progress.

The hybrid power plant consists of a thermal generation facility, which is already in operation, and a solar and battery facility, consisting of a 2.6MW solar PV facility and a 1MWh battery energy storage system. The thermal facility currently supplies all of the plant’s power requirement, and once completed, the solar and battery facility will provide up to 33% of the mine’s total electricity needs using renewable energy.

President and CEO, Craig Scherba, commented:

     “Commissioning of the Molo Graphite Mine is a testament to the hard work and perseverance of our employees and contractors who have brought this project from design through to implementation in the midst of a global pandemic and shifting geopolitical landscape. That hard work has placed the Company in an enviable position as it transitions into a global graphite producer at a time when graphite consumption is increasing dramatically due to the explosive growth in demand for lithium-ion batteries.

NextSource is taking advantage of this tremendous market opportunity by creating a substantive niche for itself within the global lithium-ion battery supply chain through the commissioning of its first graphite mine and planned construction of its first Battery Anode Facility.”

On February 28, 2023, the Company announced its global Battery Anode Facility (BAF)expansion strategy and the results of a technical study for its first BAF (BAF1) located in Mauritius.  Mauritius was selected due to its close proximity to the Company’s Molo Graphite Mine in Madagascar and its position on strategic shipping routes to key markets. Front-end engineering and design and environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) permitting is now in progress, and the Company is in active discussions with strategic offtake partners and debt and equity financiers who have expressed an interest in funding the BAF1 construction.

Subject to obtaining the necessary funding and completion of the ESIA process, the Company is targeting production from BAF1 in Q2 2024.

The global expansion strategy involves the staged construction of BAFs in key global jurisdictions to satisfy OEM demand in Asia, North America, Europe and the UK.  Each BAF will be capable of producing commercial volumes of coated, spherical and purified graphite (CSPG) for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicle (EV) applications. 

The BAF design is based on a proprietary and well-established processing technology currently supplying CSPG to major EV automotive companies.

Addition of ESG Expert to Senior Management Team

The Company is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Markus Reichardt as Vice President of Sustainability.

Dr. Reichardt brings extensive environmental and social governance (ESG) expertise to NextSource, with over 25 years of practical, advisory and strategic experience integrating ESG into all stages of projects and investment cycles across the natural resource, agricultural and renewables sectors.  He brings extensive experience working with precious, industrial and critical battery minerals, including graphite and vanadium. Dr. Reichardt was formerly the corporate environmental manager of AngloGold Ltd. and holds a PhD in restoration ecology.

Dr. Reichardt will be responsible for the Company’s group safety, health, environment, social, climate change and quality performance policies and initiatives.

President and CEO, Craig Scherba, commented:

      “Our ability to attract highly specialized individuals such as Dr. Markus Reichardt is a reflection of our growth potential and commitment to integrating the highest industry standards. Dr. Markus Reichardt will be integral to managing all our sustainability needs and I am delighted to welcome him to the burgeoning NextSource management team.”