Canada-based battery materials company Elcora Advanced Materials has received, through its Ermazon SARL wholly owned subsidiary (purchased in December 2021), a manganese exploitation license from the Moroccan government for the Atlas Fox Deposit in the country.
This license allows Elcora to mine, extract, process and sell manganese from its 16 km² mining concession in Morocco. The Atlas Fox Deposit had been mined until the mid-1950s (when the French colonial rule in Morocco came to an end), leaving on-site about 40 extracted manganese ore piles and numerous surface veins and pits.
The mining area is easily accessible via public road and an inclining mine haul road of 1.5 km length. Elcora will rehabilitate it including the former staging area situated at a road fork. Elcora is preparing a comprehensive mining plan for the Atlas Fox Deposit. The plan will be based on detailed maps of the former French mine located on its concession allowing for faster and more efficient production. The mining method will initially be open pit, heavy machinery and production equipment are already being shipped.
Elcora sent a representative amount of the mineral was sent to the SGS-certified African Laboratory for Mining and Environment (AFRILAB). Manganese (Mn) masses tested between 16% and 50% for an average of 34% before sorting or processing.
The production potential run rate at the Atlas Fox Deposit is thought to be approximately 2,500 metric tonnes/month. Manganese ore 37% sells at about US$331 / metric ton on the international market. The price is not necessarily indicative of the sales prices to be received by Elcora.
Recently passed EU, US and Canadian policies and laws aim to support local economies, secure their battery raw material supply chains, and accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels into clean energy. The objective of these policies and laws has direct benefits to the manganese market, Elcora noted.
Manganese is not only an essential metal in converting iron into steel, but it also plays a crucial role in the longevity, energy and performance of the batteries produced to power electric vehicles. The lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide battery is most common in power tools and in powertrains for vehicles. In these batteries, electrolytic manganese dioxide is used as a cathode material. The increasing use of electric vehicles is expected to drive the demand for manganese.
Elcora was founded in 2011 and has been structured to become a vertically integrated battery material company. Elcora can process, refine, and produce battery related minerals and metals. As part of the vertical integration strategy, Elcora has developed a cost-effective process to purify high-quality battery metals and minerals that are commercially scalable.