Brendan Cummins here, the Executive Director of Black Canyon. We recently released some information with regards to the development of a flow sheet for the High Purity Manganese Sulphate, otherwise known as HPMSM, that is utilized in the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
We recently completed acid leaching test work across a number of samples from the Balfour Manganese Field and the results were excellent, achieving 99% leaching extraction rates.
So the next steps for the company on these samples is to complete further precipitation and purification of the manganese sulphate solution and ultimately to produce battery grade manganese sulphate. The test work we’re doing is all part of a larger program, and what we’re trying to do is to establish multiple feedstock sources from across our Balfour Manganese projects.
One such example is the KR1 prospect where we recently announced significant drill intersects from that project, and that is the one sample that we’re going to progress through extra purification and precipitation, leading to crystallization of high purity manganese sulphate that is going to be suitable for the utilization in electric vehicle batteries.
The demand for high purity manganese sulphate continues to rise year on year, particularly out of the US and Europe, who are actively seeking independent sources of high purity manganese sulphate for their own car manufacturing and battery manufacturing sectors.
This puts Australia in the box seat and particularly our projects in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, where we can supply manganese for Manganese Sulphate production for many decades to come.
The company believes that the downstream development of high purity manganese sulphate is a key component of our future growth plans. The HPMSM strategy is strongly supported by the evolution of the lithium-ion batteries.
They’re trending towards a battery that is higher in energy density but exceedingly safe, and also the availability of cheaper materials, and manganese can tick those boxes.
Western OEM supply managers have been quite active in the space looking for nickel and lithium projects, particularly in Australia and Canada, and I think it’s only a matter of time before the interest levels in manganese accelerates and Black Canyon is positioning itself to be ready for this demand.
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