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Kootenay-based Eagle Graphite tasked to help expand clean vehicle sector

Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West (third from right), Regional District of Central Kootenay Director Walter Popoff (second from right) and Jamie Deith, president and CEO of Eagle Graphite (fourth from right) join workers for a team photo following Monday's announcement. — Photo courtesy BC Government

The BC Government is looking to Kootenay-based technology to expand its clean vehicle sector, create good jobs and support low-carbon innovation.

Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West announced Monday from the Slocan Valley that Eagle Graphite will receive $290,000 to produce silicon/graphite battery anodes using its Koch Creek quarry near Passmore.

Eagle Graphite is one of five British Columbian companies receiving a total of $1,190,856 aimed at developing advanced technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, batteries and other hydrogen fuelling equipment.

"Our government is supporting made-in-B.C. innovation that will help drive clean-vehicle technology into the future," said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. "The Eagle Graphite project has the potential to bring new jobs and economic growth to the Kootenays, while positioning this region on the leading edge of clean technology."

The government said the project has the potential to establish B.C. as a global leader in anode production, as well as bringing new jobs to the Kootenays. Eagle Graphite is one of five B.C. companies receiving a total of $1,190,856 through the Province's Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) Program for the CEV sector.

"Under our CleanBC plan, we are building a low-carbon economy that will reduce climate pollution and create good jobs across our province," said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and MLA for Nelson-Creston.

"To get there faster, we are supporting innovative companies like Eagle Graphite to develop made-in-B.C. technology that will put us on the path to a cleaner, better future."

The ARC Program is part of the government's CleanBC plan.

The government said the CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.'s emission targets.

"We're excited to have our advanced lithium-ion graphite development selected for support under the Advanced Research and Commercialization Program," said Jamie Deith, president and CEO of Eagle Graphite.

 "Although transition to a sustainable energy economy is still in its infancy, this will be the change that defines our time. Investments made today will determine who prospers in the new economy and who will fall victim to obsolescence. Hats off to the Government of British Columbia for recognizing that for the sake of ourselves and future generations, we must take a leadership role in developing and commercializing cleaner energy technologies."

The Eagle Graphite website said the company owns and operates one of only two flake graphite production facilities in Canada and the only graphite quarry in western North America. The quarry is located in Passmore, approximately 37 kilometers northwest of Nelson on Highway 3A/6.

Eagle Graphite's application includes partners the University of British Columbia Okanagan and E-One Moli Energy Limited, a local battery supplier.

Quick Facts:

  • The CEV sector includes battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. The sector includes companies and organizations involved in all aspects of the CEV supply chain - from raw materials to final consumer products - related to vehicles or vehicle components, fuel and infrastructure, and transferable technologies and services.
  • British Columbia's CEV sector is already delivering jobs and significant economic opportunities in the province, including:
  • an estimated 198 companies and organizations involved in all aspects of the sector; 3,850 full-time equivalent jobs in total direct employment associated with CEV-related activities; $702 million in total economic output; and $373 million direct contribution to provincial gross domestic product.
  • The ARC Program provides funding to eligible companies operating across all aspects of the CEV supply chain. The funding is provided to: showcase B.C. CEV technologies with export potential; support pre-commercial CEV technologies that are made or designed in B.C.; demonstrate commercial success for B.C.-based CEV technologies; and support companies in the CEV sector that wish to locate or invest in B.C.

Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West takes a look at the new flake graphite product following Monday's announcement in Passmore. — Photo courtesy BC Government