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'High-purity manganese has to increase 10-fold by 2030' - Euro Manganese's Matt James

Kitco News

Manganese is coming to the fore due to worries about relying on current cobalt supply.

Last week Euro Manganese CEO Matt James spoke to Kitco at the Mining Investment Event of the North in Quebec City.

Euro Manganese (CVE:EMN) is advancing its 100%-owned Chvaletice project, a decommissioned mine's old tailing. The company plans to produce high-purity manganese from the tailings. The manganese will be used in lithium-ion batteries and other high-technology applications. The company's headquarter are in Vancouver, Canada. The project is in Czech.

The company is building a demonstration plant this summer. Commissioning is targeted for September and first delivery of samples to customers is expected in Q4 2022. The project will have the added benefit of remediating the old mine workings, said James.

Manganese has similar chemical properties as cobalt, but cobalt production is concentrated in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. To avoid country risk and over reliance on one supply source, manganese is gaining favor.

"Manganese is very similar to the cobalt. It stabilizes the nickel. That's it's key role: it can substitute the cobalt," said James. "Manganese has a very competitive price compared to other battery metals. There are many companies developing manganese-rich cathode chemistries. We're going to see manganese play a more and more important role going forward."

And with electric vehicles gaining greater market share, manganese demand will grow. James said that "...high-purity manganese has to increase 10-fold by 2030."

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