American Manganese, a diversified specialty metal company, announced that the testing work has begun at a new pilot plant constructed by Kemetco Research to confirm and expand the conceptual process.
Kemetco Research is a privately-owned R&D company specializing in specialty chemical analysis, chemical processing and extractive metallurgy.
The first phase of testing includes batch leach and pre-leach units connected with a three stage counter current decantation (CCD) and thickener. The CCD can run in a continuous mode in different configurations at feed rates ranging up to 50 Kg/hr. The operation of these units will deliver main information to leach the manganese and produce pregnant leach solution. Large amounts of pregnant leach solution will be purified prior to the separation of manganese as solid manganese carbonate. Also, the spent solution will be further processed to recover sodium sulphate, a byproduct.
Contractors have been appointed to provide assistance in areas such as nano-filtration, crystallization and liquid-solid separation, which are significant operational areas in the plant. Electrowinning will be carried out using the manganese carbonate to generate high purity manganese metal. In addition, a less quantity of manganese carbonate will be employed to manufacture high purity electrolytic manganese dioxide. The electrolytic manganese dioxide will be analyzed for application in lithium manganese oxide batteries.
A Tetra-Tech Company, Wardrop has been commissioned to prepare the pre-feasibility report. The company works in co-operation with Kemetco Research.