Larry W. Reaugh, Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. (“American Manganese” or the “Company”), (TSX.V: AMY; Pink Sheets: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM), reports that the Company has received the “Notice of Allowance” from the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office for the Company’s manganese recovery process. The “Notice of Allowance” is formal documentation indicating that the examination of the invention has been completed by the US Patent and Trademark Office and allowed for issuance as a patent. The Company’s attorney is currently completing documentation and submitting fees for formal issuance of the US Patent. “Allowance of this patent is a significant milestone for the Company as the invention is now secured as a key asset that can be exclusively capitalized.” The invention is a technical break-through as it enables the recovery of manganese from a low grade resource with significantly less energy and environmental impact than conventional processing methods.
The patent application describes key details in which manganese can be recovered from a low grade resource with the following key advantages:
- Low energy requirement.
- Low water use.
- Robust process with a unique assembly of commercially available equipment.
- The hydrometallurgical process developed by the Company is capable of producing high purity electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) and chemical manganese dioxide (CMD) critical for improving performance and safety of high tech lithium ion batteries. The invention by-passes steps known to introduce metallic impurities when producing these materials using conventional mining processes. Norman Chow, President of Kemetco Research states, “Conventional mining processes used to produce manganese dioxide for lithium ion batteries are known to contaminate cathode materials with metallic impurities. These impurities can cause internal short circuits after a number of charge/discharge cycles, which will by-pass any protection circuits, and unfortunately can lead to fires or explosions.” i.e.: electric vehicles, laptops, cellphones etc.
- High purity manganese dioxide is combined with lithium carbonate to form the cathode material used in the “spinel” type high tech lithium ion rechargeable battery.
The Company will be applying to register this patent in other countries which may be able to adopt American Manganese’s process on contract from the Company.
About Kemetco Research Inc.
Kemetco Research is a privately owned contract Research and Development Company specializing in extractive metallurgy, chemical processing and specialty chemical analysis. Kemetco was formed after the acquisition of the Industrial Process Division of BC Research. BC Research had been in operation for over 60 years as an R&D contractor in British Columbia, Canada. Kemetco Research is a strategic partner to American Manganese in the development of EMD and CMD powders for the lithium ion battery.
China controls electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) production supplying and producing 98% of the world’s needs (3 billion pounds per year).
There is no substitute for manganese in steel (total manganese market greater than 33 billion pounds per year, fourth largest traded metal).
Manganese is a critical metal at risk for supply disruptions in the United States as there is no U.S. production. EMM’s greatest uses are the upgrading of specialty steel (74%), and the manufacture of aluminum alloys (12%), electronics (2%), and other applications (12%).
The U.S. has a 14% import duty on imports of EMM.
Electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) for the battery industry is expected to be the fastest-growing segment of the manganese market. Ford Motors predicts production of hybrid electric vehicles will account for 25% of its entire vehicle line-up by 2020, and Hyundai has committed a lifetime guarantee to their hybrid electric vehicles that use lithium ion batteries with manganese spinel.
About American Manganese Inc.
American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal Company focusing on potentially becoming a producer of high purity EMD and CMD for the battery industry.
This release has been reviewed by John W. Fisher, PEng, a qualified person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101.
On behalf of Management
AMERICAN MANGANESE INC.
Larry W. Reaugh
President and Chief Executive Officer