Mr. Larry Reaugh reports
AMERICAN MANGANESE TO INITIATE NEW IP DEVELOPMENT AND MINI-PILOT PLANT TO ADVANCE CATHODE RECYCLING TECHNOLOGY
American Manganese Inc. has received the new IP (intellectual property) development and mini-pilot plant proposal from Kemetco Research. The proposal's objectives are as follows:
Develop new IP using information identified in the previous work that would streamline the overall process further, by eliminating byproduct production and reduce equipment requirements;
- Develop new IP to recover graphite from the anode materials;
- Develop new IP to recover copper and aluminum foils;
- Design, engineer and construct a mini-pilot plant;
- Operate the pilot plant to obtain scale-up data and test customer materials in a practical manner.
The total budget for the above program in 2018 has been estimated to cost $2,277,000.
"AMI's successes this past year are an indication that 2018 will continue to be impressive as future development unfold," said Larry Reaugh, president and chief executive officer.
The proposal was prepared by Norm Chow, Anca Nacu and Randy Agius of Kemetco Research. Mr. Chow and Dr. Nacu are co-inventors of the AMI cathode recycling patent applications, which are 100 per cent owned by American Manganese. Mr. Agius has been Kemetco's metallurgical lab manager since 2016. Mr. Agius has over 45 years of professional experience in the mining industry, starting with 32 years at INCO, where he was involved in commissioning and operation of a cobalt refinery in Port Colborne, Ont. In addition, Mr. Agius is a pioneer in the INCO SO2 (sulphur dioxide)/air process for cyanide destruction. In 2006, Mr. Agius established a consulting firm through which he personally designed, commissioned, and installed over 65 SO2/air cyanide detox plants worldwide. Mr. Agius experience will be invaluable in advancing the technology toward commercialization as utilization of SO2 is of key importance to the American Manganese cathode recycling technology.
Cobalt prices have increased significantly from approximately $23,000 (U.S.) per metric tonne in 2015 to just under $72,500 (U.S.) per metric tonne today. Two years ago, American Manganese recognized that the electric vehicle revolution coupled with the inelastic supply of mined raw materials for lithium ion batteries, in particular cobalt, would lead to opportunities in recycling. Since that time, American Manganese has been aggressively adapting its patented hydrometallurgical processing technology originally developed for recovering manganese from lower-grade resources. After completing an extensive bench-scale test program and developing flowsheets that successfully recycled cathode materials of different chemistries to recover 100 per cent base metals (cobalt, nickel and manganese) and 100 per cent lithium, non-provisional U.S. and PCT (Patent Co-operation Treaty) patent applications were filed in November, 2017.
American Manganese expects to initiate the next phase of work in January, 2018, and will continue its plan of developing a strong intellectual property portfolio and advance its cathode recycling technology toward commercialization. American Manganese believes that recycling will play an important role in the future supply chain of raw materials for lithium-ion batteries and aims to capitalize on this opportunity. Recently, recycling of lithium-ion battery raw materials has been gaining international attention in the business community.
About American Manganese Inc.
American Manganese is a diversified specialty and critical metal company focused on capitalizing on its patented intellectual property through low-cost production or recovery of electrolytic manganese products throughout the world, and recycling of spent electric vehicle lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Interest in the company's patented process has adjusted the focus of American Manganese toward the examination of applying its patented technology for other purposes and materials.
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