In the last month, Manganese X Energy Corp. (MN:TSX.V) has taken actions to accelerate its entry into the manganese market. The company has entered an agreement with Globex Mining Enterprises Inc. to earn a 100% interest in the Houlton Woodstock project. Manganese X's news release of Nov. 30 detailed the terms of the options agreement, including $200,000 in cash payments, of which $100,000 has already been made; the issuing of 4 million post-consolidation shares; and spending a minimum of $1 million in exploration expenditures. Globex will retain a 3% gross metal royalty.
Christopher Ecclestone of Hallgarten & Company, in a Dec. 6 initiation report, noted that the Houlton Woodstock project "is one of the largest Manganese showings in the Northeast of the US/Canada on the Maine/New Brunswick border."
Manganese X is moving quickly to explore the Houlton Woodstock property. On Dec. 21, the company announced that it completed its diamond drill program: "The drilling program consisted of 16 holes totaling 3,589 meters, and was completed as an initial test of three primary areas on the property: Iron Ore Hill, Sharpe Farm and Moody Hill manganese occurrences. The drill targets were based on the results derived from gravity and magnetometer surveys completed in October." Drill results are expected toward the end of January 2017.
Manganese has long been used in alkaline batteries, but according to Ecclestone, "The more cutting edge application though is known as the Lithiated Manganese Dioxide (LMD) Battery. The standard mix of LMD used in batteries contains 4% Lithium, 61% manganese and 35% oxygen by atomic weight. The attractions of this format are that LMD has high power output, thermal stability and enhanced safety when compared to other lithium ion battery types. For these reasons LMD batteries are currently being used in the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. Research at the University of Illinois has achieved an advanced prototype battery, using Lithiated Manganese that can be recharged in as little as two minutes (equivalent to filling a gas tank)." He added that "battery consumption of Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD) has been predicted to be fastest growing segment of manganese production with a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of 5.1% from 2015 to 2022."
According to Manganese X, the long-term goal of the company is to "concentrate on other high potential manganese prospects which are located in North America, as well as exploring various opportunities with the intent of integrating and supplying value added materials to the lithium ion battery and other alternative energy industries. Manganese X Energy will focus on Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD), which is defined as converting manganese into a very pure high quality electrolytic manganese dioxide of 99.7% purity."
"Manganese is shrugging off it rather prosaic image as 'just' another steel alloy metal and is now being seen in many quarters as one of the rising battery metals. Manganese X is one of the few to have recognized this trend and is seeking to create a source of EMM in the North America where hitherto dependence upon China has been the norm," concluded Ecclestone.
The company, formerly known as Sunset Cove Mining Inc., commenced trading on the TSX Venture Exchange on Dec. 2. Ecclestone noted that the name change was made "to better reflect the new exploration focus it will be undertaking in 2017."
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