Manganese: New Markets in Battery Technology
Source: Manganese Investing News, Michael Montgomery (4/12/11)
"A breakthrough from Stanford researchers contains the ability to produce electrical power from fresh and salt water."
There is a factor that is important to consider before going forward; the difference between manganese and electrolytic manganese metal (EMM). China currently controls 97% of EMM production, it charges a 20% export tariff and the U.S. imposes a 14% import tariff, adding the shipping costs, makes North American producers of products using EMM at a serious disadvantage. The price for EMM from China is about $1.65/lb.; after tariffs, the price for North American consumers is roughly the price is $2.225/lb. Currently, there are no producers of manganese in North America. However, two companies are working on their deposits, the first being American Manganese, Inc. (TSX.V:AMY, OTCPK:AMYZF), which could be the lowest-cost electrolytic manganese producer in the world at $0.44/lb. compared with $0.98/lb. in China. The second company is Wildcat Silver Corp. (TSX.V:WS), which is working on its Hardshell property in Arizona.
This new technology will cost more in the short term due to development costs; however, by replacing cobalt with manganese, the materials' cost is far cheaper.