Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. (“American Manganese” or the “Company”), (TSX.V: AMY; Pink Sheets: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM), provides corporate guidance for advancing its 100% owned Artillery Peak Manganese Project (Mohave County, Arizona) in light of the pending filing of the amended Technical Report.
Mr. Reaugh says, “The current market conditions for base metals have created serious challenges, particularly for junior companies. While we are naturally disappointed with the recent events, the Company cannot lose sight of the long term advantages that have motivated our work on the Artillery Peak Project from the beginning. When we began this project, the manganese deposits in the area had been known for decades, but there was no known way to extract the manganese on a commercial scale. Our proprietary process resolved technical problems that had prevented development of these resources for over 50 years. The Technical Report confirms that the technical aspects for mining and processing for the contemplated project have been thoroughly analyzed and significantly de-risked.”
“Of course, one of our priorities is to continue to examine potential cost reductions, to improve project economics. Because our process is new, there are a number of modifications and improvements we want to test. The principal ones are identified in the Company’s Technical Report, but we do not yet have sufficient data to confirm how they will affect project economics. Furthermore, we remain optimistic about an upward trend in EMM market prices over the next few years and will continue to monitor this with a view to update the PFS and adjust our development strategy accordingly.
Our other priority is to continue investigating the use of our resource for the production of battery materials. Because our technology is based on chemical processes, rather than conventional grinding or roasting, it is readily adaptable to the production of both electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) and chemical manganese dioxide (CMD). We have successfully produced both products in laboratory testing.”
As announced on March 7 2012, American Manganese Inc. has retained Kemetco Research Inc. of Richmond, B.C., to undertake research in the production of an improved lithium manganese dioxide. This project was initiated on March 9, 2012 and is expected to run for one year, and will focus on producing lithium-manganese products for use in test batteries and optimizing the final product characteristics. The subject of this research will be discussed by Norm Chow, President of Kemetco Research Inc. at the 2012 Battery Power Convention on September 19th in Denver, Colorado. For information visit: http://www.batterypoweronline.com/conferences/program/conference-sessions/.
Mr. Reaugh goes on to say, “The Company is fortunate that its unique, patent pending hydrometallurgical process is readily adapted to move between producing either EMM or EMD and CMD. This hydrometallurgical production process is where the potential of the project lies as it reduces the metallic impurities found in traditional production of EMD, which can cause potentially dangerous failure of a lithium ion battery.”
“Not only is the market for battery products growing faster than we expected, but the technology powering advanced batteries is improving at a rapid rate. The introduction of cleaner EMD and CMD materials into the marketplace is an exciting opportunity. The Company intends to focus its resources on EMD and CMD so as to best identify and exploit the opportunities in this arena. End users of EMM, EMD, and CMD are where the Company has received the majority of interest in ongoing discussions around possible strategic partnerships. These groups recognize the strategic imperative of supply chain security; and the risks, lead time and money needed to build a new mine.”
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.
China controls electrolytic manganese metal 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%).
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.
China has a 20% export duty on EMM and the U.S. has a 14% import duty.
About American Manganese Inc.
American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal Company focusing on potentially becoming a producer of electrolytic manganese metal, electrolytic manganese dioxide and chemical manganese dioxide from its Arizona Manganese Project.
This release has been reviewed by Michael MacLeod, 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