In response to demand, Euro Manganese will restart its pilot plant to process tailings material from the Chvaletice Manganese Project.
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 preliminary economic assessment (PEA).
Changsha Research Institute for Mining and Metallurgy (“CRIMM”), the original operators of the pilot plant, will restart the facility with delivery of product samples targeted for the fourth quarter of 2021.
The samples will be used by prospective customers to accelerate their supply chain qualification work.
CRIMM is also the lead contractor for the demonstration plant (DP) which is currently being fabricated in China for delivery and installation at Chvaletice in the Czech Republic later 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 will be refurbished and restarted to prepare an initial batch of approximately 50kg of high-purity electrolytic manganese metal and 150kg of high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate. These product samples will be used 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,” said 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.”