Manganese explorer and developer Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) is working to advance and produce battery grade high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) from across 4 sites at the Balfour Manganese Field in Western Australia.
It is Black Canyon’s goal to produce HPMSM suitable to manufacture cathode precursors used in lithium-ion batteries, says the $12.95 million market capitalisation company.
Acid leach tests have so far yielded ‘excellent’ results, with up to 99% extraction rates from samples gathered from the KR1, Balfour East, Pickering, and Damsite prospects.
Hydrometallurgical testwork on manganese oxide samples from the expanded HPMSM variability strategy has continued following the completion of acid leaching, which is to be followed by multistage precipitation/purification and then crystallisation.
This planned program is part of an expanded regional manganese oxide variability testwork to identify HPMSM manganese feedstock(s) from wholly owned tenement holdings within the Balfour Manganese Field.
The company notes the program follows the completion of a 7,000m reverse circulation (RC) drilling program designed to establish Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) potential across a number of these HPMSM feedstock sources.
Black Canyon reports this work is being undertaken at a time in which demand for HPMSM continues to rise year on year, with the US and Europe actively seeking the establishment of independent supply chains within their own or free trade partner jurisdictions.
Speaking on the development, Black Canyon Executive Director Brendan Cummins says: “The HPMSM strategy is strongly supported by the evolution of Li-ion batteries and specifically cathode chemistries with battery technology developers increasing safety and energy density from more readily available materials, which includes higher manganese content across a growing range of battery platforms.
It is an exciting space as the demand for HPMSM is expected to continue over the coming decade with limited non-Chinese supply options. Western OEM supply managers have been very active in the lithium and nickel space, reflected in several transactions across a range of Australian and Canadian based projects.
It is only a matter of time before the level of interest in manganese, particularly manganese sourced from Australia accelerates and Black Canyon is positioning itself to be ready for this demand.”
Black Canyon is an ASX-listed company which has consolidated a ‘significant’ landholding totalling 2,400km-square in the underexplored Balfour Manganese Field and across the Oakover Basin in Western Australia.
The company’s projects include the Oakover West, Fig Tree, Wandanya, and Flanagan Bore projects.
Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au
Images: Black Canyon