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Maxtech Ventures Inc. (CSE: MVT) (OTC: MTEHF) (FRA: M1N) Expects Manganese to Follow Other Rising EV Metal Prices

  • Increased EV production is driving development of battery technologies
  • LMD batteries deliver high power output, thermal stability and enhanced safety
  • Extensive manganese assets in Brazil and Zambia at easily accessible depths

Driven by increasing production of electric vehicles (EVs), demand for the metals used in the manufacture of EV batteries has risen, and so has their prices. Analysts at Morgan Stanley expect ‘lithium prices to peak at around $13,000 a ton this year’, according to a report by Business Insider, and the price of cobalt, currently $91,000 per tonne (metric ton), has risen over 70 percent in the past year (http://nnw.fm/UVG7r). Yet the price of manganese seems unable to cross the $2,120 per tonne mark, where it has floundered since 2013 (http://nnw.fm/PjH4k). That is likely to change soon, a development upon which Maxtech Ventures Inc. (OTC: MTEHF) (CSE: MVT) (FRANKFURT: M1N) is betting. As battery manufacturers turn to lithiated manganese dioxide (LMD) batteries, the junior exploration company continues to advance work on several high-grade manganese projects. It recently announced plans to form a joint venture with Andorra Participacoes e Empredimentos Ltda to explore 40,000 hectares in the State of Pará, Brazil.

The use of manganese in batteries predates the proliferation of lithium technologies. It is used extensively in the form of electrolytic manganese (EMD) as the cathode for batteries, with higher-grade EMD being employed in AA and AAA batteries and lower quality used to make C and D batteries. Although practically no EMD is produced in North America, the region uses about half of global production.

Industry analysts at Grandview have estimated that global demand for EMD will continue to grow at a CAGR of 4.9 percent until 2022, driven by continued demand for alkaline batteries and increased adoption of LMD batteries. LMD batteries, which typically use a mix of four percent lithium, 61 percent manganese and 35 percent oxygen by atomic weight, demonstrate high power output, thermal stability and enhanced safety when compared to other lithium-ion battery technologies. Presently, LMD batteries are being used in the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, and their adoption is likely to increase. Researchers at the University of Illinois have achieved an advanced prototype battery, using LMD, which can be recharged in as little as two minutes, about the same time required to fill a gas tank.

Manganese is also an essential alloy in steel manufacture and, like iron, occurs abundantly in the Earth’s crust. Alloyed with aluminum, it appears in cans, which contain about 1.5 percent manganese. The metal also has non-metallurgical uses in electronics, as a micronutrient in fertilizers and animal feed, in water treatment and as a colorant for bricks, glass, textiles and tiles.

Maxtech plans to undertake several high-grade manganese projects in Brazil. It is aiming to become a global supplier, with customers in Europe, North America and Asia. Despite the remote location of its manganese assets in Brazil, the areas are well served by infrastructure, with, for example, several commercial river ports and roads. The company is presently focused on its claims in Juina in the state of Mato Grosso. Occurrences of manganese stretch across a belt of at least 250 kilometers between Mato Grosso and Rondonia, a neighboring state. Most of the mineralization lies close to the surface, extending to over 80 meters in depth, with reported grades reaching 54 percent or higher. Thus, most of the mining can be done using relatively inexpensive methods, including hand-dug pits, mobile auger drills and trenching.

Additionally, Maxtech recently announced that it has filed a trial mining license, or Guia application, on the Juina claim.  The company is awaiting approval to begin mining operations in Mato Grosso. The company opened a subsidiary in Zambia in April and is filing two large-scale exploration licenses in areas of manganese mineralization near 60 percent manganese. Maxtech anticipates approval of these submissions in 60 days and intends to commence operations in Zambia shortly thereafter.

For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Maxtech-Ventures.com

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