Euro Manganese Explores Opportunity to Produce Battery-Grade Manganese in North America

Euro Manganese Inc. (the "Company" or "EMN") is pleased to announce it is exploring an opportunity to develop a project to produce high-purity manganese products in Canada for the North American market.

Port of Bécancour and its industrial park, showing location of the high-purity manganese sulfate plant proposed by EMN. Image Credit: Euro Manganese Inc.

Highlights

  • The demand for North American high purity manganese is expected to rise to approximately 200,000 tonnes per annum ("tpa") metal equivalent by 2031, yet there is no current processing capacity and production of battery-grade manganese in North America.
  • A scoping study is underway to evaluate a site in Bécancour, Québec ("the Bécancour Project") for production of high-purity manganese products following discussions with cathode and battery manufacturers, and automotive OEMs in North America.
  • The Bécancour Project scoping study will evaluate the dissolution of high-purity electrolytic manganese metal ("HPEMM") to produce a high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate ("HPMSM") powder and/or a high-purity manganese sulphate solution ("HPMSS").
  • The scoping study will leverage the extensive process development and engineering work recently completed at the Company’s Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic.
  • Euro Manganese has an exclusive due diligence agreement on a strategic site at the Bécancour industrial park where a cluster of precursor cathode active material manufacturing ("pCAM") plants are currently under development.

Strategic Rationale for Development of the Bécancour Project

The North American electric vehicle market is experiencing rapid growth, aided by the recent United States Inflation Reduction Act, which provides incentives for the localisation of battery production and battery raw material supply chains. The resulting demand for North American high purity manganese is expected to rise to approximately 200ktpa by 2031, yet there is no current processing capacity and production of battery-grade manganese in North America.

In response to encouraging discussions with automotive OEMs, battery and cathode manufacturers seeking to procure local, responsibly produced high-purity manganese in North America, Euro Manganese is undertaking a scoping study on a Dissolution Plant within the Bécancour industrial park, in Québec. The Dissolution Plant would utilise HPEMM to produce HPMSM powder and/or HPMSS liquid solution.

The benefit of a HPMSS product is the ability to pump a solution directly to nearby pCAM manufacturers, removing the necessity to crystallise, dry and package a powdered HPMSM product, which is ultimately dissolved in water by the pCAM plants. Therefore, HPMSS saves costs for both parties and reduces CO2 emissions.

HPEMM production from the Chvaletice Project could initially supply the Dissolution Plant at Bécancour and provide a strategic production base in Canada for the North American market. This would also allow the Company to capture additional margin for the HPEMM that is not currently planned to be processed through to HPMSM at the Chvaletice Project. The proportion of Chvaletice HPEMM to be processed at Bécancour will be determined in the scoping study.

Euro Manganese has signed a three-month Land Access and Exclusivity Agreement ("the Agreement") with The Société du parc industriel et portuaire du Bécancour, a Québec state enterprise and owner of the proposed EMN 15-hectare land parcel within the Port of Bécancour. The Agreement allows the Company to exclusively conduct due diligence on the land parcel, after which the Agreement allows the Company the opportunity to conclude an option agreement for the purchase of the site.

The Company has engaged SNC-Lavalin, a global engineering services company based in Montréal, who has extensive knowledge of the area, to conduct site due diligence and advise on permitting processes. In parallel, the Company has commissioned the Vancouver office of Ausenco Engineering Canada Inc., a global engineering consultancy firm with expertise in battery metals, to conduct a scoping study for the Dissolution Plant to an AACE Class 5 level of cost accuracy (-30%/+ 50%).  The study is leveraging the extensive process development and recent engineering work from the Chvaletice Manganese Project.

Rationale for Québec Location

Bécancour is emerging as an important hub for the supply of low-carbon battery materials to the EV supply chain in North America due to its numerous advantages, including a year-round deep-water port, extensive road and rail infrastructure, access to low-cost hydro-electric power, strong governmental support, sophisticated local service, equipment and reagent suppliers, and a qualified work force.

The proposed site is strategically located between two cathode plants under development and adjacent to potential nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate plants. Euro Manganese’s Bécancour Project would complete the ternary cathode battery metal suite (nickel, manganese, cobalt) within the Bécancour industrial park. The site is adjacent to road, rail, power and water supply. 

Québec offers attractive government financial support programs, that may provide incentives for the construction of the Dissolution Plant. The Company is exploring these incentives with the relevant agencies.

Dr. Matthew James, President & CEO of Euro Manganese, commented:

“The Bécancour Project advances Euro Manganese’s vision of building a multi-asset high-purity manganese business in strategic locations to supply the rapidly growing EV market. It also positions the Company to take advantage of forecast market growth specifically in North America, which has been accelerated with the announcement of the US Inflation Reduction Act. By developing what could be the first high-purity manganese processing facility in North America, Euro Manganese stands to benefit from this first mover advantage in supplying North American automotive OEMs, battery makers, and cathode active material manufacturers with local and responsibly produced high-purity manganese products.

Our flagship Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic remains at the heart of our focus and strategy. The Bécancour Project is a natural extension of our work to date, especially as we are being actively encouraged as part of our ongoing offtake discussions to produce high purity manganese products in North America. To address this demand, alongside the potential incentives to develop a secure EV supply chain in North America, we are taking action to explore this logical addition to our portfolio.”

Source: https://www.mn25.ca/

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