Larry W. Reaugh, Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. (“American Manganese” or the “Company”), (TSX.V: AMY; Pink Sheets: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM), reports the Company has received a positive report titled “Chemical Manganese Dioxide Generated from Low Grade Manganese Resources” from Kemetco Research Inc. To view the Report, follow the link below:
American Manganese has developed a low-cost, environmentally friendly hydrometallurgical process to recover manganese (Mn) from lower grade resources. American Manganese has applied for a patent for their hydrometallurgical process that produces electrolytic manganese metal from low grade manganese resources, with low energy and water consumption. As a development of the existing process, American Manganese has commissioned this research to determine uses of Artillery Peak manganese resource material to generate high value alternative products. Chemical manganese dioxide (CMD) and lithiated manganese oxide (LixMn2O4) for use in rechargeable batteries were the areas researched.
The research was successful in producing CMD from Artillery Peak resource material with low cation impurities and further avoiding processing steps that are known to introduce metallic impurities in the final product. Cation impurities cause capacity fade, whereas metallic impurities are known to cause catastrophic failures (such as fire and explosions) in lithium ion batteries. Working rechargeable lithium ion coin cell battery prototypes were produced from the CMD material.
This report describes the results of this research project contracted by American Manganese to Kemetco Research Inc. The test program was partially funded by the Canadian Government through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) for development work conducted over a five month period.
Larry Reaugh says: “The technical and financial support granted to American Manganese Inc. by NRC IRAP was a great assistance in meeting the challenges of this research.” The objective of the project is to improve the versatility and advance commercial efforts of a novel process technology developed by American Manganese Inc., for the recovery of manganese from low grade resources. The proprietary hydrometallurgical processing scheme involves reductive leaching of the Mn with sulphurous acid, followed by purification, manganese carbonate precipitation and manganese metal electrowinning. The development work in this project was to use slip streams of manganese sulphate solution to produce chemical manganese dioxide as a secondary product. Although chemical manganese dioxide can be used for various end uses, such as water and air pollution treatment, the main interest was to obtain an electrochemically active product.
The experimental work was to achieve the following objectives:
- Determine processes to remove other non-metallic impurities that could be detrimental in the manganese dioxide product(i.e. potassium and others impurities)
- Determine processes to produce manganese dioxide from manganese sulphate solution by oxidation and hydrothermal and thermal treatments.
- Determine the product characteristics
Significant progress was made in determining the processes to remove impurities in the CMD. The purification process involves several stages, including iron and aluminum removal by aeration and pH adjustment to 8, sulfide precipitation to remove base metals, and under-stoichiometric precipitation of the manganese as manganese carbonate. Of note, this purification of the pregnant solution, the manganese carbonate precipitation, the choice of the oxidant, and the washing of the final product played a significant role in obtaining a final product similar or better than the commercial EMD.
A proprietary oxidant has been found to be the most prominent oxidant candidate to produce CMD, both in regards to the product crystalline form and oxidant consumption.
The chemical composition of the CMD produced from the Artillery Peak resource shows a lower impurity level in sodium, potassium, iron, aluminum, and copper when compared to commercial samples of EMD and CMD.
The CMD produced from the Artillery Peak manganese feedstock was successfully combined with lithium to produce the lithium manganese oxide cathode material used in rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Button cell size rechargeable lithium ion batteries were fabricated using American Manganese cathode materials, and were successfully tested for electrical discharge and re-charge. The Company plans to aggressively pursue this avenue upon successful financing of the project.
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.
Kemetco is 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 a research and development contractor in British Columbia, Canada.
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