Bringing Critical Materials to North America’s Lithium-ion Battery Market
Manganese X Energy Corp. (TSXV:MN) is a Canadian-based company focused on acquiring and advancing North American resource projects with the potential to supply ethically-sourced, value-added materials to the lithium-ion battery and renewable energy technology markets. Currently, there are no operating manganese producers in North America and the market is awaiting more reliable, sustainable sources of material outside of China.
The company’s flagship project is the Battery Hill property located in the top-tier global mining jurisdiction of New Brunswick, Canada, which is under option from Globex Mining Enterprises (TSX:GMX). Battery Hill hosts carbonate manganese, which is necessary for the production of electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD), a high-value product with a purity of 99.7 percent used in the cathode material of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) batteries. Through the company’s metallurgical test work with Kemetco Research Inc., Manganese X has been able to produce a manganese sulfate with a purity over 99.6 percent with low base and alkali metals.
NMC batteries are a type-of lithium-ion battery with considerably less cobalt, which is more expensive and volatile than the more traditionally-used lithium-cobalt oxide battery. NMC-based lithium-ion batteries are increasingly replacing the lithium-cobalt oxide batteries in electric vehicles (EVs), portable devices and renewable energy storage systems as a more cost-effective and safer alternative with a longer life cycle. LG Chem (KRX:051910), the world’s largest supplier of EV batteries, supplies NMC batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the Chevy Volt. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has said it will use NMC-based cathodes in the grid batteries its planning to produce at their gigafactory. To this aim, Manganese X has established a standalone subsidiary, Disruptive Battery Corp., to advance the idea of manganese for greener power production and to penetrate the EV market.
In December 2016, Manganese X signed an agreement with Kingston Process Metallurgy (KPM) to conduct an EMD concept study to explore the company’s options for enhancing manganese for the lithium-ion battery industry and maximizing the added-value potential of the Battery Hill property. Following the recommendations outlined in the report, the company has implemented laboratory-scale leaching tests to determine the manganese recovery and sulphuric acid consumption.
Manganese X has acquired the 1,985-hectare Peter Lake copper-nickel-cobalt property in Mont-Laurier Terrane, Quebec. To date, the property has seen little exploration, but the exploration that has been conducted outlined two zones of mineralization. Historical grab samples from these areas returned values that range from 0.4 percent to 22.8 percent copper, 0.14 percent to 0.73 percent nickel and 500 ppm to 0.226 percent cobalt as well as elevated gold and silver levels.
Manganese X has also acquired the Lac Aux Bouleaux (LAB) graphite property located near Mont-Laurier, Quebec. The property lies to the south of TIMCAL’s Lac Des Iles graphite mine, which has an annual production capacity of 25,000 tonnes of graphite. There are also several graphite showings and past-producing mines nearby.
Manganese X Company Highlights
- Advancing Battery Hill towards a NI 43-101 resource estimate.
- Both Canada and the US import 100 percent of their manganese requirements; North American companies are keen to source manganese supplies outside of China.
- Technology companies and consumers increasingly require ethically and sustainably-sourced materials.
- Only pure-play EMD company listed in Canada.
- Battery Hill hosts carbonate manganese which is necessary for the production of EMD.
- Agreement with KPM to study Battery Hill’s potential to supply EMD to the lithium-ion battery industry.
- Metallurgical testing with Kemetco has produced a manganese sulfate with a purity over 99.6 percent with low base and alkali metals.
- Manganese values in the chip samples ranged from 0.72 percent to 25.97 percent manganese oxide and from 7.74 percent to 33.37 percent iron
- New Brunswick government support and grants through the New Brunswick Junior Mining Assistance Program (NBJMAP).
- Peter Lake has historical grab samples that returned values of up to 22.8 percent copper, 0.73 percent nickel and 0.226 percent cobalt.
- LAB project is strategically located to the south of TIMCAL’s Lac Des Iles graphite mine as well as several graphite showings and past-producing mines.
- Technology division develops cost-competitive purification techniques for the production of high-purity manganese sulphate.
- Manganese X has established a subsidiary that is expected to target the energy and EV industries.
- Technical and marketing advisory board provides guidance in regards to becoming a leading supplier of ethically-sourced, value-added manganese products.
- Partnerships in place with the Canadian National Research Council and the University of Minnesota.
- Disruptive Battery Corp created for the purposes of accelerating a manganese thesis as it relates to fuel cells and stored energy
- Manganese X expects to receive monthly dividends from Mountain Springs Oil and Gas Limited.