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China Leverages Electrolytic Manganese Metal Stockpile Monopoly

Politics / Metals & Mining Nov 02, 2011 - 05:02 AM GMT

By: Anthony_David

Politics

metal over 30 years ago, but so far, the country has not been able to produce any electrolytic manganese (EMM), a critical alloying element. And like rare earths, the US has been sourcing its electrolytic manganese largely from China and small amounts from South Africa. In 2009, China’s production accounted for 95% of the global electrolytic manganese production.


Zhang pointed out that if China decided to limit its EMM exports or its domestic demand increased, countries such as the US would be in deep trouble. China’s rare earth policies have shaken the global rare earth community and to avoid such a situation with EMM, Zhang said that it was time for the US to build a strategic reserve or initiate production.

Canada’s American Manganese Inc. is planning to do just that. The company is currently seeking funds to extract 99% pure manganese from a low grade abandoned mine in Arizona. Reports indicate that the mine has over 15 billion pounds of indicated reserves and over 3.5 billion pounds of inferred reserves. The company aims to begin production in 2014.

EMM is combined with nickel or lithium in batteries, is used as a colorant in bricks, and as an alloy in copper and aluminum alloys. One of the most promising uses of EMM is in the cathodes of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV). Several large automotive manufacturers are already using the technology. It is critical for the US to have access to reliable and competitively priced manganese supplies.

The “high capacity manganese rich cathode” (HCMRC) battery has been jointly developed by the Argonne National Laboratory and Envia Systems and is expected to hold double the charge of currently available lithium-ion batteries, is half the weight of other EV storage batteries, and can be recharged in a matter of minutes.

In the manganese market, prices have been falling largely because of China’s large stockpiles. Over the next two years, South Africa will have several world class manganese deposits beginning production and that is another factor that will keep prices down. Johan Kriek, CEO of United Manganese of the Kalahari (UMK), said “While I still believe that manganese is a fantastic business, and that it will recover in time, I think that for the next two or three years, we’re in for a rough ride.”

However, steel production is expected to grow in China and since each tonne of crude steel uses about 30 kg of manganese ore, the demand for manganese will continue to grow. That fact alone could keep manganese prices from declining too sharply.

By Anthony David

http://www.criticalstrategicmetals.com

The mission of the Critical Strategic Metals Web Site

is to serve as a monthly compass for those who take a fundamental view of investment regarding the Molybdenum, Manganese and Magnesium metals markets, are concerned with the emerging critical under-supply of these strategic metals to Western nations and wish to profitability chart their course. Each month we will research and provide, in as short and concise a manner as possible, the most applicable information available on resources that will have the biggest impact on our day to day lives. Click here to sign-up for our FREE monthly report.

© 2011 Copyright  Anthony David- All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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