American Manganese to help US government recover lithium-ion battery materials

American Manganese (TSX.V: AMY) announced this week that it will participate in a U.S. Department of Energy project to advance the economic recovery of lithium-ion battery materials from electric vehicles and other consumer goods.

In a press release, the British Columbia-based firm explained that the project is titled "Lithium-Ion Battery Disassembly, Remanufacturing, and Lithium & Cobalt Recovery Project" and it focuses on developing an economic recovery strategy for critical materials in end-of-use lithium-ion batteries from electric and hybrid electric vehicles and bicycles, as well as from power tools.

Other AMY partners include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Idaho National Lab, Purdue University and Case Western Reserve University.

"AMY is very pleased to become the first private-sector company to participate in this project," said Larry Reaugh, CEO of American Manganese, in the media brief. "We're honored to be working with world-renowned national labs and leading U.S. universities on an issue that will dramatically impact our ability to meet rising material demand for lithium, cobalt, manganese and nickel."

Reaugh noted that the work starts immediately under the supervision of the Critical Materials Institute, which is an energy innovation hub led by Ames Laboratory and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing Office.

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Australia launches Critical Minerals Strategy 2019 focused on innovation and tech

The Federal Government of Australia launched today the Critical Minerals Strategy 2019 aimed at putting emphasis on what politicians call “the industries of the future.” In their view, these sectors include agritech, aerospace, defense, renewable energy and telecommunications.

“We have some of the world’s richest stocks of critical minerals and while the market for some of our minerals such as lithium is relatively mature, other minerals markets such as cobalt remain largely underdeveloped in Australia,” said the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham from Kemerton, the area where Albemarle’s lithium processing plant is being built.

In Birmingham’s view, Australia needs to work a little bit harder on attracting and locking-in domestic and overseas investment to get projects off the ground. “That’s why a key part of this strategy is about how industry and government agencies such as Austrade can work together to promote our potential to the world to attract more international investment, particularly in downstream projects and greenfield opportunities,” he said.

The Strategy reinforces the work of the A$100.5 million Exploring for the Future initiative, which is aimed at helping explorers target new mineralization by using high tech to observe the deepest roots of mineral systems all the way through to the surface.

The plan also supports the work of the MinEx Cooperative Research Centre, a 10-year research program whose goal is to develop and deploy the next generation of drilling technology and which will receive A$20 million in the coming years.

The 2019 action plan contemplates that the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction consumes all of its A$34.45 million in funding by 2021 as it works on developing energy-saving and resource-expanding technology that will allow lower-grade ores to be economically and eco-efficiently mined.

The Critical Minerals Strategy also backs the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, which provides a single entry point for major project proponents seeking tailored information and facilitation of their regulatory approval requirements.

For Tania Constable, CEO of the Minerals Council of Australia, government funding for innovation, skills and investment promotion is valuable, but she believes more needs be done. “Investment in the next wave of base metal and critical commodity mines and processing plants is not guaranteed, as Australia faces growing competition to attract international capital. The resources industry needs to convert this potential into lasting economic benefits,” she said in a media statement.

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Jupiter appoints its first female director

Jupiter Mines has appointed Melissa North to the board of directors as FD, effective March 18. North, who is the first female to be appointed to the Jupiter board, joined Jupiter in 2012 as group financial controller and was subsequently appointed CFO and company secretary.

Burkina Faso says Paris court dismissed $2.2bn claim over manganese mine contract

A Paris court has dismissed a $2.2-billion claim against Burkina Faso lodged by Pan African Minerals Group over control of one of the world's largest manganese mines, Burkina's government said on Thursday. Romanian-Australian tycoon Frank Timis' Pan African Burkina Limited (PAB) bought the rights to the Tambao mine, which it says holds 100-million tonnes of manganese reserves, in 2012. PAB says it has invested over $100 million developing the mine, but has been involved in a legal wrangle with the government over its permit.

Pan African Minerals’ $2.2B claim over giant manganese deposit contract dismissed by court

Pan African Minerals, a unit of Timis Mining Corp., won’t resume production at its Tambao mine in Burkina Faso as a Paris-based arbitration court has dismissed the company’s $2.2 billion claim against the West African nation.

Tambao, one of the world’s largest manganese mines, was forced to halt activities in 2015 following a change in leadership in Burkina Faso. The company then asked International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration to prevent its permit from being withdrawn.

In the meantime, the country’s new government began looking for a new partner to mine the manganese deposit, with estimated reserves of 100 million tonnes of the steel-making ingredient.

In April last year, the nation announced it was ending its agreement with Pan African Minerals.

The arbitration court’s ruling determined that “the termination of the contract by Burkina was valid and justified in law,” Global Arbitration Review reported.

The West African country has experience increasing mining activity in the past decade, mainly in the gold sector.

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Constitutional Court upholds Aquila’s Gravenhage manganese mining right

The Constitutional Court has upheld a High Court judgment granting China-based Baowu Group subsidiary, Aquila Steel, a mining right over its Gravenhage manganese deposit, located in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Aquila’s planned development of Gravenhage has been delayed for several years by an overlapping claim by Pan African Mineral Development Company (PAMDC).

Silver One starts drilling at Peñasco Quemado in Mexico

Silver One Resources (TSXV: SVE) reported this week that it started drilling at its Peñasco Quemado project located in northern Sonora, Mexico.

In a press release, Silver One explained that the 1,000-metre diamond drilling program is based on the strength of the soil geochemical anomalies near to a historically defined manto or replacement-style silver resource.

"The property hosts geological similarities to the silver-manganese oxide and zinc-lead-silver sulphide mineralization at the Hermosa and Taylor projects located just over 100 kilometres to the north in Arizona. These properties are currently being evaluated by South 32 acquired through the takeover of Arizona Mining in August 2018," Greg Crowe, President and CEO of Silver One, said in the media statement.

The drilling will test three targets in two separate areas

Crowe explained that the drilling will test three targets in two separate areas of Peñasco Quemado. He said the targets were selected based on coincidental geochemical and geophysical anomalies previously identified in the company's 2017-2018 exploration programs.

"Drill holes in the eastern part of the property will target an interpreted southwest, down-dip extension of the drill defined historic silver resource area, interpreted as a shallow, southwest-dipping replacement manto. This anomaly was outlined by geophysics," the media brief reads. "Additional drilling will test the interpreted along-strike extensions to this historic resource area as identified by strong, 3+ kilometre long, southeast trending zinc, lead, barium and manganese in soil anomalies, which are in part associated with geophysical anomalies."

The Vancouver-based miner also said that in the western part of the property, drilling will test strong zinc, lead and copper soil anomalies with coincidental geophysics in an area drilled by Silvermex Resources in 2008.

Peñasco Quemado occupies 3,746 hectares in seven concessions located 60 kilometres south of the town of Sasabe on the US-Mexican border.

According to Silver One, a 2006 drilling program outlined a historical measured and indicated resource of 2.57 million tonnes at a grade of 117 g/t Ag for a silver resource of 9.63 million ounces.

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Tshipi declares R1.1bn H2 dividend

Jupiter Mines on Monday announced that the board of Tshipi é Ntle Manganese Mining has resolved to distribute a R1.1-billion dividend to its shareholders for the second half of the 2019 financial year. Tshipi has distributed R3.2-billion in dividends for the full financial year.

Namibia Critical Metals signs deal for Kunene small-scale mining initiative

TSX-V-listed Namibia Critical Metals has signed a deal with a private, undisclosed Namibia-based group for the development of a small-scale manganese mine at its wholly-owned subsidiary Kunene Resources Namibia’s operations. The agreement allows the local Namibian group to produce manganese mineral concentrates from a small manganese occurrence within the Kunene cobalt/copper project area in exchange for sliding-scale royalty payments.