Battery-grade manganese from Battle Hill
Tests show potential of New Brunswick manganese project Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – June 26, 2020
Last updated 7/1/2020 at 3:26am
Manganese X Energy Corp. said recent tests have improved the efficiency and economics of recovering manganese from the exploration company's Battle Hill project in New Brunswick, Canada.
Manganese is an increasingly important ingredient in lithium-ion and emerging battery technologies.
"The demand for energy storage is too great for one technology to satisfy it, so we're looking for environmentally friendly, safe, inexpensive alternatives," said Jason Croy, a physicist at U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. "Manganese is a good option for that."
With samples chipped from Battle Hill returning assays as high as 25.97% manganese oxide, this project in eastern Canada could provide a North American source for this emerging battery metal.
Metallurgical work carried out by Kemetco Research Inc., a British Columbia-based tech company that specializes in analytical chemistry and extractive metallurgy, produced greater than 99.5% manganese sulphate, with low levels of base and alkali metals, from samples of mineralized material collected from Battle Hill.
These results demonstrate that Battle Hill can produce a product that could go into the nickel-manganese-cobalt lithium-ion batteries that are increasingly being used to power electric vehicles.
Manganese X said a second phase of metallurgical bulk tests are underway and results are very encouraging. The company is also investigating the potential to reduce purification steps which, if successful, could lead to major cost benefits.
While the use of manganese in batteries for both EV and renewable energy storage is growing, there are currently no manganese producing mine in North America, making Battle Hill and the work being carried out by Kemetco even more vital.
"Timing could not be better for showcasing manganese as it is certainly leading the technology revolution in the battery space," said Manganese X Energy CEO Martin Kepman. "We continue to be excited by the progress of Kemetco in their cost reduction development of our flow sheet. Further, validation from The U.S. Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory use of manganese for energy storage proves we are on the right path and we have the necessary assets for shareholder value creation."