The Ontario Ministry of the Environment in Canada has approved Great Lakes Graphite’s amendment to the air/noise permit for the company’s Matheson Micronization facility in Matheson, Ontario.

Following approval, the company is set to begin operations at the facility in the first quarter of 2016.

Great Lakes Graphite chief operating officer Jerry Janik said: "The Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s decision to grant the permit amendment for this project marks a critical turning point towards commencing production at the Matheson Micronization facility.

"The facility has implemented several sustainability measures to reduce waste and energy use."

"This milestone reflects our company’s strong commitment to the responsible recommissioning of the Matheson Micronization facility, with a particular focus on environmental sustainability."

The facility has implemented several sustainability measures to reduce waste and energy use. It has deployed superefficient sealed LED light fixtures.

Great Lakes Graphite’s capital expenditure programme is expected to improve graphite upgrading processes at the facility.

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When operating at targeted capacity, the facility is expected to process around 10,000t of high-carbon graphite concentrate per year.

The fully integrated facility has been designed and built for micronisation with equipment that is suitable for processing flake graphite and other industrial minerals.

Matheson is also located 70km from Timmins, Ontario, a mining community for more than 100 years.