Euro Manganese Inc (ASX:EMN, TSX-V:EMN, OTCQX:EUMNF) has published its third-quarter financials and management commentary, recapping its operating highlights as it continues to develop its cornerstone Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic.
Over the company’s third quarter, the company completed the second tranche of a brokered private placement, extinguished royalty agreements and announced it would restart its pilot plant to provide small samples of high purity manganese from Chvaletice to prospective customers.
Looking ahead, work on the manganese play’s definitive feasibility study and final environmental impact assessment continues, with both these projects slated for completion in the first quarter of 2022.
As of June 30, 2021, Euro Manganese had more than C$33.4 million in the bank to support its future operations.
“Positioned to benefit from manganese battery momentum”
Euro Manganese CEO Marco Romero said: “As the Chvaletice Manganese Project moves forward, the future of the electric vehicle industry and high-purity manganese in EV batteries has never looked better.
“During the last several months we have seen major policy announcements from the European Commission and the United States designed to accelerate the world’s transition to e-mobility and develop sustainable battery and battery raw materials supply chains.
“Our company has also experienced strong customer interest in our products.
“Meanwhile, the ongoing trend towards increased use of manganese-rich batteries continues, with recent announcements from several major automotive, battery and battery materials industry players.
“EMN is well-positioned to benefit from this momentum, and our battery-grade manganese products made by recycling waste stand to become a valuable element of Europe’s emerging battery value chain.”
Today’s quarterly report rounds off a busy three-month period that saw EMN close the second tranche of its C$29 million private placement.
Euro Manganese netted around C$4.8 million in gross proceeds from the second tranche in mid-May, adding to the capital raised to execute development activities at Chvaletice.
These include installing and commissioning the company’s high purity manganese demonstration plant, completing the Chvaletice Manganese Project’s permitting and feasibility study, funding certain scheduled land acquisition payments and for general corporate purposes.
The financing will also allow the company to complete all site and technical work required at the Czech Republic project to support a final investment decision, which is expected in 2022.
Royalty extinguished and rights extended
Later that month, EMN also announced it would purchase and extinguish an aggregate 1.2% royalty interest in its flagship project in a move that would boost project economics.
By buying back the royalty and extinguishing it, Euro estimated Chvaletice’s after-tax net present value (NPV) would increase by US$25.3 million, while eliminating US$91.1 million in expenditures over the project’s 25-year life and reduce operating costs by US$3.40 per tonne of plant feed.
The expected benefits of the deal are based on a preliminary economic assessment completed in 2019.
After the third quarter ran its course, EMN was able to extend its exclusive rights to explore and develop Chvaletice into 2026.
Pilot plant restart preludes demonstration plant
In mid-June, EMN also announced it would restart its pilot plant to provide high purity manganese from the project’s tailings to prospective customers.
Ultimately, the pilot plant preludes Chvaletice’s demonstration plant, which is targeted for commissioning and initial production in the second quarter of 2022. Fabrication and assembly of the plant’s individual modules is expected to commence in the coming weeks.
The demonstration plant will produce large-scale product samples, replicating the entire process flowsheet of the proposed Chvaletice commercial plant.
Now in the company’s fourth quarter, EMN is preparing to bring its demonstration plant online.
The manganese project developer reports that fabrication is tracking along, although pandemic-related restrictions and supply chain interruptions have generated some delays. As a result, the company expects to commission and begin first production at the plant in 2022’s second quarter.
In the meantime, work continues across the manganese play’s definitive feasibility study and final environmental impact assessment.
With both of these scheduled to complete early next year, these key elements could potentially enable environmental permitting in late 2022.