Euro Manganese Inc (ASX:EMN) (CVE:EMN) (FRA:EO6) has highlighted the substantial strides made in advancing the Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic in a management discussion and analysis for the period ending June 30, 2020.
The company believes that the project’s environmentally-friendly tailings reprocessing to produce ultra-high-purity manganese products will enable it to become Europe’s only primary producer of such products with a best-in-class environmental footprint.
The Chvaletice Manganese Project is expected to result in environmental remediation of a polluted former mine site, bringing it into full compliance with modern Czech and European Union environmental standards and regulations.
The ultra-high-purity electrolytic manganese metal (HPEMM) with specifications exceeding 99.9% manganese and ultra-high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) to be produced are critical components of lithium-ion batteries.
Demand for high-purity manganese products is growing rapidly, fueled largely by the li-ion and electric vehicle (EV) markets, particularly in Europe where 100% of high-purity manganese products are imported.
Euro Manganese has secured most of the land for its processing plant site, which is already zoned for industrial use and has initiated the rezoning process for tailings land.
Both adjoining municipalities have voted unanimously to proceed with tailings land-use plan change after an intensive community consultation, which has been ongoing for several years with overwhelmingly positive feedback and valuable local resident design input.
Collaboration and support
In addition, the company has experienced ongoing collaboration and support for the project at various levels of the Czech Government, which issued a key Preliminary Mining Permit in 2018 and then extended two exploration licences to 2023, approved the company’s application for some significant investment incentives by way of tax credits on eligible project expenditures, and recently issued a ruling under European Union’s Natura 2000.
The ruling determined that the Chvaletice Manganese Project is not expected to adversely impact endangered and protected species habitat.
Environmental studies, planning and project permitting are highly advanced for the project with extensive baseline and other environmental studies having been completed since 2017.
An EIA Notification, which is a significant milestone for the project and initiates the EIA regulatory review process, was filed on June 30, 2020. This could enable final permitting for the project in 2021, subject to financing.
Once permitted and offtake agreements have been entered into with the company’s potential customers, Euro Manganese expects to turn its attention to project financing in order to begin construction of the full-scale commercial Chvaletice process plant and related infrastructure.
As the company moves through the feasibility stage and the project development stage, it intends to evaluate potential value-enhancing opportunities for the Chvaletice Manganese Project.
These may include the potential for on-site production of sulphuric acid, optimising building sizing and layout, equipment selection, solid-liquid separation methods, alternative magnesium removal methods, manganese sulphate crystallisation technologies, leaching methods, waste generation minimisation and recycling, as well as minimising energy and water consumption.
In collaboration with one or more potential consumers of high-purity manganese products, the company also intends to evaluate the feasibility of building one or more satellite manganese metal dissolution plants to be located at customer NMC precursor plants.
This could allow Euro Manganese to provide certain customers with manganese sulphate solution instead of granulated manganese sulphate monohydrate, eliminating the energy-intensive crystallization step.
Globally strategic asset
Accordingly, the company expects it will be required to raise additional funding for its next stage of development.
Euro Manganese believes that Chvaletice, in the heart of Europe’s fast-growing EV production hub, makes it a European and globally strategic asset.
Working closely with key global customers on product development and supply chain qualification, and based on the results of its pilot plant tests, the company believes that it will be able to achieve its goal of producing ultra-high-purity manganese products that meet the demanding specification of these potential customers.