Euro Manganese Inc. [EMN-TSXV, ASX] announced its plan to restart its 100%-owned pilot plant to produce high-purity manganese samples for prospective customers in response to requests from prospective customers. The company will restart its pilot plant to process tailings material from the Chvaletice Manganese Project located 90 km east of Prague, Czech Republic.
The pilot plant will produce small samples of high-purity manganese products for prospective customers, primarily in Europe, in advance of larger samples to come from the Project’s Demonstration Plant, targeted to begin operations in the first quarter of 2022.
The product samples will allow prospective customers to continue or initiate the supply chain qualification work required prior to approval of battery raw materials for use in electric vehicles.
The original pilot plant operated in 2018 and produced exceptionally pure manganese products during process design studies for the Project’s PEA (preliminary economic assessment).
The Company has engaged Changsha Research Institute for Mining and Metallurgy Co. Ltd. (CRIMM), the original operators of the pilot plant, to restart the facility with delivery of product samples targeted for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Samples will be used by prospective customers to accelerate their supply chain qualification work.
CRIMM is also the lead contractor for the Demonstration Plant currently being fabricated in China for delivery and installation at the Chvaletice Project site this year. The DP will recycle tailings material to produce battery-grade manganese products using the same process proposed for the full-scale commercial plant, targeted for production in late 2024/early 2025.
The pilot plant, which in 2018 produced ultra-high-purity manganese samples as part of the Project’s PEA metallurgical test work program, will be refurbished and restarted to prepare an initial batch of approximately 50 kg of high-purity electrolytic manganese metal and 150 kg of high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate. These product samples will be used by prospective customers for supply chain qualification, which involves thorough testing and evaluation of battery raw materials prior to approval for use by cathode, battery and electric vehicle manufacturers.
“Demand for sustainably-produced, battery-grade manganese is increasing rapidly and there simply isn’t enough production capacity in the world to meet it today,” says Euro Manganese CEO, Marco Romero. “New producers need to come on stream soon and undergo rigorous supply chain qualification of their products. The restart of our pilot plant will help us better service several prospective customers’ near-term objectives to pre-qualify new producers like us. With the restart of our pilot plant, we will be able to move more quickly in delivering finished-product samples and to follow-on in early 2022 with larger samples from our Demonstration Plant.”
The proposed project entails re-processing a significant manganese deposit hosted in mine tailings from a decommissioned mine, strategically located in the Czech Republic. The company’s goal is to become a leading, competitive and environmentally superior primary producer of ultra-high-purity manganese products in the heart of Europe, serving the lithium-ion battery industry, as well as other high-technology applications.