It’s a metal that’s been shooting up in price as the world turns to lithium-ion batteries to power the future of transportation and renewable energy, with Canadian company Manganese X Energy Corp (Manganese X Energy Stock Quote, Charts, News, Analysts, Financials TSXV:MN) now on its way to producing high purity manganese to meet the growing global demand.
The company announced on Tuesday advances in testing at its New Brunswick production project, saying work has now been completed on the third and final processing metallurgical phase of its Battery Hill Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) carried out by Kemetco Research.
“We are very optimistic heading into the final stages of our PEA,” said Manganese X CEO Martin Kepman in a press release. “Given that the new lab-proven process is very favourable for scaling up, we may transition into a pilot project immediately following our PEA. The key will be to ensure cost effective production that will allow scalability.”
Manganese X said test work has now validated Kemetco’s novel purification process to produce high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) crystallization, one which eliminates the need for one of two purification steps, thereby streamlining the process. At the same time, Manganese X said Kemetco reported final crystal products with all contaminants below 100 ppm, important for producing battery-grade HPMSM.
Along with lithium and cobalt, manganese, which is mostly used in steel production, has clean energy applications as a battery component, with the US Geological Survey having listed manganese as one of 50 critical minerals along with lithium and cobalt.
“We are confident manganese will be a high demand commodity for battery chemistry going forward, as more and more manufacturers shift away from cobalt,” said Kepman. “Our company is well positioned for supplying the North American supply chain given that Battery Hill is strategically located in New Brunswick, Canada, close to the US border.”
Manganese X Energy’s share price has gone through a couple of peaks in the past year and a half but has settled down over the past six months in the $0.30 to $0.40 per share space. So far in 2022, the stock is up about ten per cent.
Up ahead, Manganese X has pegged one of its goals for 2022 to be pursuing negotiations with a multi-national company on future development and sales of its value-added manganese materials to North American markets.
Kepman said, “Experts are predicting that starting next year there will be a shortage of high purity manganese. This shortage will continue and by 2030 present production will only be fifth of the projected demand. Manganese X Energy Corp is poised to take advantage of this situation and to become a major supplier to North American EV and back-up energy storage requirements within the near future.”
Disclosure: Manganese X Energy is an annual sponsor of Cantech Letter.