Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. (“American Manganese” or “AMI” or the “Company”), (TSX.V: AMY; OTC US: AMYZF; FSE: 2AM), is pleased to announce management is currently reviewing opportunities within its present portfolio of intellectual and mining projects as follows:
Lithium Ion Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling
American Manganese is developing a new technology for the recycling of spent cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries. The conceptual process of recycling these materials was based on adaptations of American Manganese’s proprietary know-how and patented hydrometallurgical process for the recovery of manganese from low grade resources. American Manganese has conducted scoping studies as a proof of concept to show that a popular cathode material, lithium cobalt oxide, could be leached using a reducing acid and that the leached cobalt and lithium could be precipitated for potential re-use in remaking fresh cathode materials. The scoping study showed leach recoveries of more than 99% for lithium and cobalt, and 99% of the cobalt and 60% of the lithium could be precipitated from the leach solutions in a single pass. American Manganese has filed a US Provisional Patent Application of the conceptual process under development.
Kemetco Research Inc. (“Kemetco”) has commenced a phased technology development program with the goal of developing a complete flowsheet to maximize recovery of valuable cathode components while minimizing reagent consumption and addressing water balance in an environmentally friendly and economic manner. Research will be reported on as the company receives updates.
Lithium metal is the most expensive by weight of all the cathode materials currently fetching $19.90 per lb. or $42,090/tonne. Cobalt is the next most expensive at $16.90/lb or $37,242/tonne (see press release dated January 19, 2017). Cobalt has increased 70% in value over the past year with demand projected to exceed supply later this year.
New Hazelton, B.C. – High Grade Cobalt/Gold Property
AMI’s high grade cobalt/gold property (Victoria Mine) located near new Hazelton, B.C. has seen limited historical production of 90 tonne grading 2.77% cobalt and 3.22 oz/tonne gold. Two grab samples at the Victoria adit obtained by the Company in 2007 graded 26.64 grams gold, 1.0% cobalt and 41.90 grams gold and 1.1% cobalt respectively.
The Victoria mine and showings of vein material consists principally of cobalt-nickel arsenide in hornblende gangue with glassy quartz and feldspar. Additional minerals include molybdenite, uraninite, apatite, sphene, allanite and rare scapolite.
The Company has been approached by interested parties for the potential to joint-venture this cobalt-gold project.
Artillery Peak, Arizona – Manganese Project & Patent
American Manganese first acquired claims in the Artillery Peak Manganese district in 2007. Recognizing that low-grade deposits of manganese were not economic, the Company moved forward with research to develop a disruptive technology to produce higher-priced forms of manganese such as electrolytic manganese metal (EMM), electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) and chemical manganese dioxide (CMD). The Company contracted Kemetco starting in May 2009 to perform the research (Note: The US Bureau of Mines worked on the metallurgical process for approximately 50 years with limited success). Kemetco made the breakthrough and successfully completed the pilot plant testing in December 2011. Tetra Tech vetted the process and used the results to design the EMM plant for the prefeasibility study completed in September 2012.
The AMI project is the most advanced manganese project in the United States. Over the past few years the Company has reduced its landholdings (see press release dated November 7, 2013). The remaining claims contain the best grades and thicknesses, including intersections of 7.23% Mn over 6.09 meters (20 ft.) and 4.02% Mn over 27.44 meters (90.0 ft.)
With the renewed interested by Tesla in rechargeable lithium manganese batteries in storage and electric vehicles, the Company will be looking for interested partners to reinvigorate the CMD studies. The Company has previously produced CMD from Artillery Peak ores and produced working rechargeable lithium manganese batteries (see December 6, 2012 press release). The Company now holds patents in three countries, the United States, China and South Africa on its environmentally friendly green process.
About American Manganese Inc.
American Manganese Inc. is a diversified specialty and critical metal company focused on capitalizing on its patented intellectual property through low cost production or recovery of electrolytic manganese products throughout the world, and recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Interest in the Company’s patented process has adjusted the focus of American Manganese Inc. toward the examination of applying its patented technology for other purposes and materials. American Manganese Inc. aims to capitalize on its patented technology and proprietary know-how to become and industry leader in the recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries having cathode chemistries such as: Lithium-Cobalt, Lithium-Cobalt-Nickel-Manganese, and Lithium-Manganese (Please see the Company’s March 31, 2016 press release for further details).
About Kemetco Research Inc.
Kemetco Research is a private sector integrated science, technology and innovation company. Their Contract Sciences operation provides laboratory analysis and testing, field work, bench scale studies, pilot plant investigations, consulting services, applied research and development for both industry and government. Their clients range from start-up companies developing new technologies through to large multinational corporations with proven processes.
They provide scientific expertise in the fields of Specialty Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Process and Extractive Metallurgy. Because Kemetco carries out research in many different fields, it is able to offer a broader range of backgrounds and expertise than most laboratories.
On behalf of Management
AMERICAN MANGANESE INC.
Larry W. Reaugh
President and Chief Executive Officer