Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. (“American Manganese” or the “Company”), (TSX.V: AMY; OTCQB: AMYZF; FSE: 2AM), is pleased to announce it will receive a new contribution agreement with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). With this contribution agreement in place, the Company has retained Kemetco Research Inc. (“Kemetco”) of Richmond, BC to undertake research in the production of an improved lithium manganese dioxide.
Manganese dioxide is produced electrolytically (EMD, Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide) or chemically (CMD, Chemical Manganese Dioxide). The addition of lithium to manganese dioxide forms material used in high tech rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. There are numerous high growth potential applications for advanced lithium-ion batteries, including hybrid or full electric vehicles. The challenge is to produce a material that is free from any potential impurities.
While the Company’s main product is electrolytic manganese metal (EMM), the hydrometallurgical process developed by Kemetco provides an opportunity for the production of ultra-high purity manganese dioxide for use in lithium-ion batteries. The Kemetco process avoids traditional steps (grinding of the resource followed by roasting) that are known to introduce impurities to battery grade lithium-ion battery material.
Successful research will add a secondary source of revenue to the Company to enable production that can be integrated as an adjunct to the Kemetco hydrometallurgical process.
Mr. Anthony Santelli has resigned as a Director of the Company due to other business opportunities that will necessitate a significant amount of his personal time. We thank Mr. Santelli for his contributions to the Board and wish him all the success in his new endeavors.
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 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.
The current world price for electrolytic manganese metal is about $1.46 per pound, while the U.S. price is about $1.66 per pound.
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 from its Arizona Manganese Project.
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