(Montreal) Residents of the Outaouais and Laurentides regions fear that a mining project near the municipality of Duhamel will cause harm to the environment. The opposition even gained momentum after learning of the possible involvement of the American Pentagon.

Last month, Canadian company Lomiko Metals announced that it had received an US$8.35 million (CAN14.26 million) grant from the United States Department of Defense and C$4.9 million in funding from Natural Resources Canada to support additional studies on the natural flake graphite project.

This mineral could be used in the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles.

According to the Pentagon, the exploitation of a graphite mine could strengthen the North American energy supply chain. The product could therefore be used “for military purposes. »

Residents like Louis St-Hilaire therefore feel betrayed by the Canadian government. They fear that the graphite extracted from their sector will be transformed into military equipment by the Americans.

Jean-François Boulanger, professor of extractive metallurgy of critical and strategic elements at the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, says that the type of purified graphite that Lomiko is talking about is used to make batteries, but the unpurified version of this mineral can be used in steel manufacturing.

Graphite is an essential mineral in the manufacture of heavy military equipment, such as aircraft and armored fighting vehicles.

Teresa Kramarz of the Environmental Governance Lab in Toronto says she is not surprised by the Pentagon’s involvement. North American and European governments are investing heavily in the exploration of critical minerals like graphite in order to be less dependent on Chinese exports.