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 the Company’s progress to date on the research in expanding the Company’s patent pending hydrometallurgical manganese recovery process to produce improved manganese dioxide product for use in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Recent laboratory tests have produced Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD) and Chemical Manganese Dioxide (CMD) products of high quality. These products were produced from leaching the Artillery Peak, Arizona mineralized samples and their subsequent purification and elecrowinning to produce EMD or chemical oxidation to produce CMD.
Samples of the EMD and CMD were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP) for cation impurities. A summary of the cation impurities for American Manganese EMD and CMD samples and specification of Tosoh and Tronox EMD products are provided below.
Note #1: “<” on AMY EMD samples indicates less than the detection limit of Kemetco’s ICP.
Note #2: Specifications for Tosoh products obtained from: https://www.tosoh.com/our-products/advanced-materials/battery-materials
Note #3: “LMO” refers to Lithium Manganese Oxide, which are the active materials used in high power rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Note #4: Specifications for Tronox products obtained from: https://www.tronox.com/products/electrolytic-manganese-dioxide
While cation impurities are important, more critically, the American Manganese process avoids steps (such as grinding the resource material in the cases of EMD and CMD, or grinding of the final products which is avoided in CMD production) that are known to introduce metallic impurities into the final products.
American Manganese’s research is focusing on capitalizing on its patent pending hydrometallurgical process developed by Kemetco Research to significantly reduce or eliminate metallic impurities in manganese dioxide for use in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Metallic impurities, not to be confused with metal oxide or salt impurities, in the part per billion level are known to cause an unacceptable number of batteries to experience thermal run-away in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, leading to explosions and fires in some cases. The tolerances for these impurities are so low that there are no current analytical methods to measure. As such, all lithium-ion battery manufacturers test every battery manufactured for a few weeks to reduce (but not eliminate) the occurrence of thermal run-away of production batteries prior to sale.
Mr. Larry Reaugh says, “These initial results are very encouraging as the hydrometallurgical process developed by Kemetco provides a significant opportunity for the production of a high value product for use in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and represents another market with very high growth potential. While the Company’s primary focus is electrolytic manganese metal (EMM), we are going to aggressively pursue the on-going research program that is required to fully develop this extremely attractive potential opportunity. We have forwarded these results to interested potential off-takers and/or strategic partners.”
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.
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