Pure Minerals completes Stage 1 of manganese hunt in WA
Published on: | by Geoff Tait
The first phase of drilling is now completed, at the Battery Hub manganese project in WA. That’s the latest news from Pure Minerals Ltd (ASX:PM1), an ASX-listed resources company, with intentions of defining its maiden JORC Resource in the region. To do this, PM1 intends to utilise this drill data, plus the historic database of more than 500 drill holes.
Pure Minerals has adjusted its exploration programme in WA, by extending the previous programme by over 40%. Pure Minerals opted to expand the campaign upon recognising that areas slated for testing in the second phase of drilling could be accessed without requiring track construction. In addition, new drill targets were identified in the field that warranted immediate testing.
Pure Minerals says more than 1,500 samples, comprising 413 composite samples and 1,125 one-metre split samples, have been submitted to ALS Global laboratory in Wangara, WA, for assay testwork. First test results are expected before the end of the year, and with more to follow in Q1 2018.
Additionally, Pure Minerals geologists are hopeful of tapping into a rarefied zone of mineralisation that could enable the production of Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD) or Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM). Among the areas to be tested in this round of drilling will be the Five Fingers prospect, where recent rock chip sampling returned grades as high as 52.6% Mn.
PM1 has identified and sampled specific zones of mineralisation for preliminary metallurgical testwork aimed at determining the ability to beneficiate the mineralised material and assess its suitability to produce Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD) or Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM).
It should be noted PM1 is a speculative stock and investors should seek professional financial advice if considering this stock for their portfolio.
EMD is a key ingredient in the production of batteries, including conventional alkaline cells and lithium-ion batteries. Manganese has been seeing increased use in specialty batteries due to its lower cost and capability for safer operation that competing Li-ion battery technologies. In the years to come, demand for EMD and EMD-lithium based batteries is widely expected to track increasing demand for electric automobiles and electrical grid storage batteries, while also potentially benefitting from capture of market share from competing battery technologies.
EMM is a virtually pure elemental manganese product produced through electrolytic refinement. Manganese is a key ingredient in several types of steel and stainless steel, as well as aluminium alloys. On average, every tonne of steel produced contains 0.5 to 1% manganese. EMM specifically is used in low-carbon and specialized steel production, and competes in many uses with low-carbon ferromanganese, depending on price.