Larry W. Reaugh, President and Chief Executive Officer of American Manganese Inc. (“American Manganese” or the “Company”), (TSX.V: AMY; OTC US: AMYZF; FSE: 2AM), is pleased to provide a review of the state of the markets during 2014 and the Company going forward.
Since March 2011, the TSX Venture Exchange Index has dropped 72% (from 2450 to less than 670) reaching the lowest level seen in the last 10 years. Since September1, 2014 the index has dropped by more than 35% (from about 1050 to less than 670). In November 2008 copper was trading at US$ 1.36/lb., down 64% from its high that year of US$ 3.80.lb; while gold was trading at US$ 750/oz., down 25% from its year high of US$ 1000/oz. Today copper is trading at US$ 2.95/lb., down 34% from its mid-2010 high of US$ 4.50/lb.; while gold traded at US$ 1230/oz., down 35% from its mid-2011 high of US$ 1900/oz.
The Canadian stock exchanges, especially the TSX Venture Exchange, have been ground down to the point where most small and micro-cap companies are having an extremely difficult time raising money for working capital necessary for sustaining day-to-day operations, let alone funding exploration and development work on their projects. Mr. Reaugh says, “In my opinion the drop in commodity prices and its negative effect on markets appear to have been amplified by high frequency trading and the repeal in 2012 in Canada of the so-called “Up-tick Rule”. The United States SEC repealed its “Up-tick Rule” in 2007, but reinstated a modified version of the rule in early 2010, after public outcry about the negative effects of the repeal. The combined effects are very detrimental for finding investors willing to support companies trading on platforms such as the TSX Venture Exchange.”
Mr. Reaugh goes on to say that, “The immediate goal of any company is to maintain its core assets, while surviving through these difficult times. Company expectations, subject to on-going geo-political concerns, for commodity prices in 2015 are cautiously positive. Controls on high frequency trading and re-instatement of the “Up-tick Rule” are also desirable to bring investors back to the junior capital markets in Canada.”
The Company will continue to maintain its key properties: The Artillery Peak manganese property in Arizona; the Rocher DeBoule iron oxide copper gold property and the Lonnie niobium/rare earths properties in British Columbia. All other properties may be relinquished to conserve cash.
The following highlights point to a better year ahead for the Company and its shareholders:
- American Manganese Inc. received Patent No. 2013/01364 from the Republic of South Africa for its manganese recovery process. The invention is a technical break-through as it enables recovery of manganese from low grade resources with significantly less energy and environmental impacts than conventional processing methods.
- Along with US Patent No. 8,460,621 B2 and the Chinese patent application (pending), the patents describe key details of how manganese can be recovered from low grade resources via a robust process with low energy requirements, low water use and using a unique assembly of commercially available equipment.
- The hydrometallurgical extraction process developed by the Company is not only capable of producing electrolytic manganese metal (EMM), but also high purity electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD) and/or chemical manganese dioxide (CMD) critical for improving performance and safety of lithium-ion batteries.
- Safety concerns about various lithium-ion battery chemistries have been front and center in the news especially regarding battery fires and explosions. The lithium–manganese battery chemistry is considered to be one of the safest.
- Tesla has commenced construction of its lithium-ion battery Gigafactory sited near Reno Nevada. The Gigafactory’s capacity will double the amount of lithium-ion batteries available for installation in new electric vehicles (EV’s) and hybrid EV’s in the next 5 years.
Mr. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has said that they will source battery materials mined domestically; sparking interest in potential North American producers. This could also spark competition among other EV manufacturers, increasing the overall demand for lithium-ion batteries; including lithium-manganese batteries currently used in the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf.
American Manganese Inc. is looking forward to better financial and commodity market conditions in the coming year.
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 products 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