By Larry W. Reaugh – President & CEO of RecycLiCo Battery Materials

Earlier this week (April 16th) Global Industry Analysts Inc. released a new report outlining the future growth of manganese, electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) and electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD). In this report GIA forecasted the manganese market to grow to 24.9 million metric tons by 2017 spurred by the growth in demand from China and the steel industry.

GIA was also quick to point out that the EMM and EMD market are also set to see a potential boost due to the rising demand in the green energy sector:
“Recent innovations in the green energy sector are boosting demand for electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) and electrolytic manganese dioxide (EMD), thereby representing a potential boon for the North American manganese industry… Given the rapidly expanding consumer base for electric cars, the United States is the leading global market for EMD and EMM. On a global scale, EMD and EMM, two highly-refined forms of manganese metal, are increasingly finding application in the production of lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and other green energy applications. The demand for EMD…from Li-on secondary battery manufacturers is anticipated to soar in the near term.”

These predictions have been echoed over the last few months with analysts in the mining industry, the green energy sector and the automotive market. A report produced early in April predicted that the global market for rechargeable batteries is projected to reach US $21.4 Billion by 2017, coinciding with the growth in demand for manganese.

This growth is in part due to the innovations in lithium-ion battery technology. Research into improved energy density for lithium-ion has averaged a slow but steady rate of around 5% a year; however recent research projects, like those being conducted at Envia Systems have resulted in energy density of 400 wh/kg [watt-hour per kilogram] double the current energy density of commercially available lithium-ion technology.

In an effort to continue to improve lithium-ion technology, RecycLiCo Battery Materials recently announced a research partnership with Kemetco Research Inc. The anticipated result of this research will be a cleaner lithium manganese dioxide, free from potential impurities, which would reduce production costs and improve battery safety.

It has always been our belief that the manganese market has wide growth potential, particularly with EMM and EMD in the green energy sector. To continuously see that belief validated with research like we see in this report, predicting advanced market growth in these areas spurs us on to remain the only North American provider of electrolytic manganese.

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