Vancouver, B.C.-based Euro Manganese announced in mid-April that it had produced high-purity electrolytic manganese metal (HPEMM) from a demonstration plant at its Chvaletice project in the Czech Republic.
The company said an external laboratory confirmed the first HPEMM sent for testing met demonstration-plant target specifications with 99.9% Mn metal purity. High-purity manganese sulphate (HPMSM) is now under production in the plant’s final module and will be sent for external laboratory testing in due course.
The demonstration plant was scheduled to commence acceptance testing in late April. Upon successful completion of acceptance testing, the company said it would begin deliveries of HPEMM and/or HPMSM to customers.
The company provided a timeline showing the various steps in commissioning the process flowsheet, starting in November 2022 on a module-by-module basis:
• The ore-to-slurry and magnetic separation modules were commissioned prior to the end of 2022 and successfully produced a manganese concentrate from the Chvaletice manganese carbonate tailings.
• Commissioning of the leaching and purification module began in January 2023 and successfully produced a purified solution. External laboratory results from the module were received in February 2023, confirming the purified solution met the required specification.
• The electrowinning module successfully produced selenium-free HPEMM flakes in March 2023. The company reported in April that the final dissolution and crystallization module had commenced commissioning and resultant HPMSM would be sent to an external laboratory for testing in due course.
Euro Manganese said the Chvaletice project’s flowsheet is designed to produce sulphate (HPMSM) via metal (HPEMM), which has several commercial advantages:
1) Guarantees stability of HPMSM specification;
2) Provides optionality: Metal can be used as feedstock for new technologies like Nano One’s metal to cathode M2CAM One-Pot Process;
3) Metal can be further processed into other derivatives of high-purity manganese, which are currently under discussion with various potential customers;
4) Metal can be further processed at alternate locations, close to customer plants, reducing transports costs and potentially avoiding the costs associated with crystallization, drying and packaging; and
5) Metal can be sold to the specialty ally industry.
The company said the demonstration plant, with a design capacity of 32 kg/d of HPEMM or 100 kg/d of HPMSM, will enable process optimization and testing for final product development and serve as a testing and training facility. It is expected to operate for up to three years and will also be available for testing of potential additional feedstock for the commercial plant.