Bringing Critical Materials to North America’s Lithium-ion Battery Market
This Manganese X Energy Corp. profile is part of a paid investor education campaign.*
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.
The Manganese Market
EV sales are expected to increase from $1.1 million in 2017 to $11 million in 2025. Solar panels are following a similar curve at around 50 percent growth each year. This surge in demand is expected to translate into increased demand for manganese as battery makers and end-users look for alternatives to using cobalt. Additionally, 90 percent of the world’s available manganese is used in steel production, making it a valuable metal in multiple industries.
“It is management’s opinion that the price trend of manganese as well as the value-added products derived from manganese such as electrolytic manganese dioxide may continue to be robust due to the increased demand especially from lithium-ion battery storage units specifically for electric vehicles,” said Manganese X CEO Martin Kepman.
Battery Hill Property
The Battery Hill property is located five kilometers northwest of the town of Woodstock, New Brunswick. The region is one of Canada’s top mining jurisdictions and among the top ten in the world, according to Fraser Institute’s annual mining survey. In June 2016, Manganese X signed an option agreement with Globex to earn a 100-percent interest in the 1,228-hectare property. Existing infrastructure includes road access to the property, close proximity to major highways and railway and available energy and water sources.
The property encompasses five manganese-iron zones including Iron Ore Hill, Moody Hill, Sharpe Farm, Maple Hill and Wakefield. These zones represent the northern portion of the Smyrna Hills formation, a banded iron formation consisting of an interlayered sequence of manganese minerals including rhodochrosite (a carbonate) that extends across the US border into the state of Maine where similar iron-manganese deposits are found. Carbonate manganese is the source material for the production of EMD, a high value product used in the cathode material of NMC-based lithium-ion batteries.
The Woodstock area was once home to an iron-manganese mine in operation for nearly 40 years beginning in 1848 that supplied high quality material for use in the armour plating of Britain’s Royal Navy gun-boats.
KPM concept study
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.
In May 2018, Manganese X received the results and final recommendations of the concept study. Following the recommendations outlined in the report, the company has implemented laboratory-scale leaching tests to determine the manganese recovery and sulphuric acid consumption.
“We are encouraged by the results which now give us a detailed roadmap to create Canada’s first high-grade manganese product which could potentially supply the North American and worldwide lithium-ion battery industries,” said Kepman.
Manganese X is conducting metallurgical test work with Kemetco Research Inc. To date, the two companies have been able to produce a manganese sulfate with a purity of over 99.6 percent with low base and alkali metals. The flowsheet that has been developed incorporates leaching, followed by solid-liquid separation, purification and crystallization. Manganese X and Kemetco intend to continue to develop the flowsheet to produce a high purity battery-grade manganese product for the EV and energy storage sectors.
“This is a significant step for us towards the development of a battery-grade manganese product; we are particularly excited with the fact that many of the critically deleterious elements are extracted from our manganese product at the beginning of the flowsheet, without the use of expensive or highly hazardous reagents and processes,” said Kepman.
In the fall of 2016, the company completed gravity and magnetometer surveys across the Iron Ore Hill, Sharpe Farm and Moody Hill zones. The results of the surveys guided the team in determining targets for a winter drill program totaling 3,589 meters in 16 holes which was completed in December 2016.
In April 2017, Manganese X conducted a 1,600-meter drill program on the Battery Hill deposit with the intent to investigate and establish key structural markers such as dip, true thickness and folding before the company launched their resource-focused summer drill program. Their efforts focused on the Sharpe and Moody Hill sectors. Results from the program included a true width of 54.1 meters with grades of up to 18.4 percent manganese oxide were encountered on the property.
In February 2018, the company completed a preliminary geological model on the project. The model was completed with the intent to establish the potential magnitude of the Moody Hill, Sharpe Farm and Iron Ore Hill as a single target and to define any additional exploratory work needed to be done before the completion of a resource.
The study examined the results from Manganese X’s 5,188 meters of drilling that was completed between November 2016 and June 2017 and identified six areas that require further drilling. As for the combined target, the study outlined a target that potentially ranged in size from 14 million to 31 million tonnes grading up to 10 percent manganese and up to 14 percent iron.
Moving forward, Manganese X is looking towards developing a maiden resource estimate for the property that is expected to include all of the currently recognized mineralized zones.
Peter Lake Property
In August 2018, Manganese X acquired the 1,985-hectare Peter Lake copper-nickel-cobalt property in Mont-Laurier Terrane, Quebec. The property is located 20 kilometers south of Kintavar Exploration Inc.’s (TSXV:KTR) Mitchi project, where new copper, silver and gold mineralization has been discovered.
To date, the property has seen very little exploration work. However, the property does host two copper-nickel-cobalt occurrences, known as Peter Lake North and Peter Lake South. Grab sampling from these areas has 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.
In 2002, two shallow drill holes were completed on the property. Ten years later, a discovery was made at the Peter Lake South occurrence, but the discovery has not undergone follow up drilling.
Disruptive Battery Corp
In March 2019 Manganese X announced that a standalone subsidiary had been formed within the parent company called Disruptive Battery Corp. In addition, the company has secured the domain batterydisruptors.com and the website is presently under construction.
The new company was created for the purposes of accelerating a manganese thesis as it relates to fuel cells and stored energy. The intent is to advance the movement of manganese for greener power production and to penetrate the EV market.
Manganese has a higher energy density and is a cheap and abundant alternative that has the potential to substantially decrease dependence on cobalt as a component in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. It could also lower the cost of electric vehicles, renewable energy storage, and portable electronic devices that currently rely on lithium-ion batteries.
As the new subsidiary evolves, the company may consider the option of unlocking value by spinning out the asset and creating a dividend effect for shareholders. Going forward, there is potential to establish partnerships and assemble a world class advisory.
Manganese X’s 2019 work program consists of line cutting, ground geophysics, prospecting and trenching over areas of known mineralization in particular. Preliminary blast results from eight of the nine samples taken from the Pater Lake North and South occurrences and graded 5.38 percent copper, 0.96 percent nickel and 922 ppm cobalt.
Lac Aux Bouleaux Property
In July 2019, Manganese X entered an agreement to acquire the 738.12-hectare 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 within the area. The property is prospective for large flake graphite mineralization.
The property was discovered in 1957 by two prospectors. Exploration work has been conducted on the property by various operators until 2018.
Between 1981 and 1983, Orrwell Energy Corp. completed a ground geophysical survey, 5,958 meters of drilling and a resource estimate for the property. The historical resource contained 1.32 million tons of graphite grading nine percent graphite.
In 2015, Goldport Resources completed a 281-line kilometer airborne magnetic (MAG) and electromagnetic (EM) survey which identified several east-west running structures and lineaments. Seven potential target areas were identified through the EM survey. Goldport also completed preliminary metallurgical testing at the property, which shows graphite recovery rates between 89.6 percent to 96.2 percent.
During 2017 and 2018, Graphite Energy Corp. completed prospecting, trenching, channel sampling and diamond core drilling on historically identified targets. Surface sampling work indicated graphite carbon in the range of 2.20 percent to 22.30 percent graphite.
Graphite Energy Corp. also completed four drill holes in 2018. These holes were drilled around a historical graphite pit and each hole intersected significant graphite mineralization. Highlights of these results include 3.15 meters grading 9.24 percent graphite, 1.55 meters grading 11.70 percent graphite and 4.08 meters grading 7.89 percent graphite.
Manganese X’s Partnerships and Agreements
University of Minnesota
In September 2017, Manganese X entered into a confidentiality agreement with the University of Minnesota to assist in the development of value-added manganese products. The company intends to develop new technological methodologies and cost-effective innovations and continues to work with prominent manganese engineering companies that have already been engaged for their various other metallurgical projects.
“We believe that having the University of Minnesota on board along with our team of experts will enhance tremendously and expedite our development of our Battery Hill Woodstock New Brunswick manganese property, with the intent of being the first North American supplier of value-added materials to the lithium-ion battery and other alternative energy industries, as well as the steel industry” stated Manganese X CEO Martin Kepman.
National Research Council
In July 2018, Manganese X received a proposal from the Canadian National Research Council to test the potential of ore upgrading and purification techniques in order to be able to produce battery-grade material. The test work will be completed under the direction of the NRC Mineral Processing Team. To date, best results from testing include a manganese concentrate grading 19.5 percent manganese, a 40 percent increase relative to the average ore grade. Testing is still ongoing.
Mountain Spring Oil and Gas
In October 2018, Manganese X acquired a 15 percent interest in Mountain Spring Oil and Gas Limited, a privately-owned Canadian oil and gas company. An additional 10 percent of MSOG can be acquired for $500,000 with Board approval. Mountain Spring has contracted Schlumberger Limited, an oil and gas services company, to utilize its new technology that has been shown to increase oil and gas yields. MSOG is aggressively pursuing potential oil and gas acquisitions which could yield positive cash flow. Manganese X expects to receive monthly dividends from these future acquisitions. The Company’s strategy is to leverage the potential cash flow from dividends generated by its interest in MSOG’s oil and gas production wells, to advance the Battery Hill manganese and Peter Lake copper-nickel-cobalt projects, as well as other potential opportunities.
Manganese X’s Management Team
Martin Kepman – CEO and Director
Martin Kepman has over three decades of consulting experience across a broad scope of projects in multiple industries ranging from software, soft goods, printing, food to mining. He is the owner and president of Martin Kepman and Associates Inc., a business development and management consulting firm founded in 1982.
Jacques Arsenault – CFO
Jacques Arsenault is an experienced executive and consultant who for more than 20 years has specialized in the development, restructuring, acquisition, merger and sale of companies and assets in both the public and private arenas.
Roger Dahn – VP Exploration and Director
Roger Dahn has over 30 years’ experience in the mining and exploration industry. His experience includes over 16 years with Noranda Inc. and Hemlo Gold Mines Inc., as well as serving in the roles of Exploration Manager-Eastern Canada for Battle Mountain Gold Company and as Vice President-Exploration with Olympus Pacific Minerals Inc. and most recently Tri-Star Resources plc. He has been involved with a number of base metal and gold discoveries which advanced to development stage and production. His extensive mineral exploration experience covers both Canadian and International settings.
Mark Billings – Director
Mark Billings is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canamex Resources Corp. (TSX-V: CSQ). He recently served from 2007 to 2014 as a Director, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer of Argex Titanium Inc. (TSX: RGX), a company he co-founded.
Anthony Viele – Director
Mr. Viele is presently the President and Director of Premier Strategic Alliance Inc., from its founding in 1996. Premier Strategic Alliance Inc. is a privately held company doing business in the Military & Industrial sectors and provides consulting and strategic advice to various companies in the metal and composite industries targeting specialty items for military, industrial and commercial use. Mr. Viele was also a director at Friday Capital and a Director of Hedman Resources Limited from April to August, 2007.
Luisa Moreno – Director
Dr. Luisa Moreno, has over 12 years of experience in technical and economic research, with unparalleled expertise in strategic minerals and related processes. Dr. Moreno is currently Co-founder and Managing Partner at Tahuti Global. Prior to this, she spent seven years as a Financial and Senior Equity Analyst at Canadian Financial Research and Investment Banking firms, including four years covering the specialized field of industrial minerals within the metals and mining sector of these firms.
Dr. Moreno possesses strong insight into materials processing and metallurgy of industrial and precious metals and an astute understanding of supply and demand dynamics. She has published a number of advanced technical reports on key strategic materials, and is a sought-after consultant to numerous mining and processing companies as well as industrial end-users. Dr. Moreno is a Physics Engineer with a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Mechanics from Imperial College London, in the UK.
Shimmy Posen – Corporate Secretary
Shimmy Posen is a lawyer at Garfinkle Biderman LLP, where he focuses on corporate finance, M&A and securities law. He acts for public and private companies, securities dealers and financial institutions on a number of public and private financings and commercial transactions.
*Disclaimer: The profile provides information which was sourced and approved by Manganese X Energy (TSXV:MN) in order to help investors learn more about the company. Manganese X Energy is a client of the Investing News Network (INN). The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this profile page, to which links are placed on Investingnews.com and channel newsletters.
The company description, investment highlights and catalysts were sourced by INN and approved by the company. INN does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information contained on this page.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on Investingnews.com profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security.
INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company.