Giyani Metals Corp. [EMM-TSXV, A2DUU8], a company that aims to become a player in the battery metals sector, on Thursday released an updated mineral resource estimate for the K. Hill Project in Botswana. The new estimate is part of the feasibility study for the manganese project,
Giyani is currently focused on the development of its K. Hill, Lobatse & Otse manganese oxide projects in the Kanye Basin of Botswana. The flagship K. Hill project is a near-surface deposit currently winding its way through a feasibility study. The aim is to produce a high-purity electrolytic manganese metal and manganese sulphate, both key ingredients for batteries in the expanding electric vehicle market.
On Thursday, the company said infill drilling has resulted in the conversion of approximately 95% of the current inferred mineral resources for the K.Hill Project to the indicated resource category and a 25% increase in total contained manganese metal.
Indicated mineral resources in the project’s main mineralized zone now stand at 1.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 22% manganese (Mn0), or 400,000 tonnes of contained Mn metal.
Inferred resources, including the newly discovered mineralized horizon known as the B Horizon, are estimated at 1.4 million tonnes at an average grade of 13.9% MnO, or 200,000 tonnes of contained Mn metal.
Total contained Mn metal is estimated to be roughly 1.7 million tonnes of high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate.
Samples from the B Horizon are currently undergoing detailed mineralogy and hydrometallurgical test work and may facilitate a potential upgrade from the inferred to indicated mineral resource category.
Mineral resources have not yet been estimated or reported for the southerly extension of the K.Hill project.
On Thursday, Giyani shares eased 3.1% or $0.015 to 47 cents. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 87 cents and 12 cents.
“Our maiden indicated mineral resources statement is another major milestone for Giyani and another objective achieved towards our goal of becoming a low carbon producer of battery-grade manganese for the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market,” said Giyani CEO Robin Birchall.
“Projects which have the potential to be developed for the high purity manganese market are rare and less than 1% of global manganese production currently feeds the battery sector. Of this amount, around 90% is produced in China.
Manganese is among the most widely used metals in the world, fourth after iron, aluminum and copper. Historically, the demand, and hence the price of the metal is closely tied to demand for iron ore in China.
Companies like Giyani are moving the capitalize on the explosion in demand for lithium-ion batteries and the increasing use of manganese as a key material in the fabrication of these batteries.
Lithium-ion manganese batteries are a promising technology as their manganese-oxide components are earth-abundant, inexpensive, non-toxic and provide better thermal stability.