Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc., (TSX.V: AMY; Pink Sheets: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM) (“American Manganese” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce pilot plant test work has commenced (see photographs at: http://www.amydata.com/data/PilotPlantPresentation.pdf) to confirm and extend the conceptual process developed by Kemetco Research Inc. (“Kemetco”) in 2010. The pilot plant, designed and built by Kemetco with input from BI Pure Water Inc. is assembled in modular form.
The initial stages include pre-leach and batch leach units coupled with a thickener and three stage counter current decantation (CCD) that can be operated in continuous mode in varied configuration at feed rates up to 50 Kg/hr. These unit operations will provide key information for leaching the manganese and production of pregnant leach solution as well as expectations of quality of residual leached solids (tailings). Bulk quantities of pregnant leach solution will be purified before separating the manganese as solid manganese carbonate and further processing the spent solution to recover a saleable byproduct sodium sulphate.
Arrangements have been made with contractors to provide expertise in such areas as liquid-solid separation, crystallization and nano-filtration which are key unit operations included in the proprietary technology.
Electrowinning to produce high purity manganese metal will be done using the purified manganese carbonate, initially dissolving it in sulphuric acid but thereafter recycling the spent anolyte to consume the sulphuric acid generated in electrolysis. As this work progresses recycle streams can be evaluated to determine and monitor impurity build up as it occurs. Some manganese carbonate will be used to produce high purity electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) which is to be evaluated for use in lithium manganese oxide batteries. Bulk samples of waste solids will be set aside for basic environmental work.
Wardrop, A Tetra-Tech Company (Wardrop) has been commissioned to put together the pre-feasibility evaluation report. They are working in conjunction with Kemetco who has total responsibility and authority for the pilot plant work under the direction of Dr. Gie Tan. Pilot plant work is expected to be completed with results available for Wardrop’s pre-feasibility report scheduled for October, 2011.
About Kemetco Research Inc.
Kemetco Research Inc. is a privately owned contract research and development company specializing in extractive metallurgy, chemical processing and specialty chemical analysis. It was formed after the acquisition of the industrial process division of B.C. Research; which had been in operation for over 60 years as a research and development contractor in British Columbia.
About Wardrop, A Tetra Tech Company
Tetra Tech is a leading provider of consulting, engineering, program management, construction and technical services. The company has more than 12,000 employees worldwide and capabilities that span the entire project life cycle. The company has more than 330 offices worldwide, including locations in Arizona and Nevada in close proximity to the Artillery Peak project.
Wardrop is a multi-disciplined consulting and engineering firm that provides innovative solutions for the natural resource management, energy and infrastructure markets globally. Wardrop has been servicing the mining industry for more than 40 years and has established a reputation for successfully executing NI 43-101 compliant feasibility studies that meet the scrutiny of the international financing community.
China controls electrolytic manganese production (EMM) supplying and producing 98.44% of the world’s needs (3.0 billion pounds per year).
There is no substitute for manganese in steel (total manganese market greater than 31 billion pounds per year, fourth largest traded metal).
Manganese is the most critical metal at risk to supply and restriction in the United States as there is no US production. EMM’s greatest uses are the upgrading of specialty steel (47%), and the manufacture of aluminum alloys (32%) and electronics (14%).
Electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) for the battery industry is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the manganese market.
China has a 20% export duty on EMM and the US has a 14% import duty; (US Price $1.81/lb) the current world price for Electrolytic Manganese Metal is about $1.54/lb. Manganese resources are declining in China especially carbonate ores for production of EMM, forcing Chinese companies to seek production offshore.
China is currently shutting down production of EMM in several provinces for environmental reasons.
China production of EMM predicted to fall 500 – 700,000 T’s out of 1.4 million T’s in next 3 – 5 years.
About American Manganese Inc:
American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal Company focusing on potentially becoming the lowest cost producer of electrolytic manganese from its Arizona Manganese Project. The Company is well financed ($7 million) to execute its contemplated work programs.
This release has been reviewed by John W. Fisher, P. Eng., a qualified person pursuant to National Instrument 43-101.
On behalf of Management
AMERICAN MANGANESE INC.
Larry W. Reaugh
President and Chief Executive Officer