The partnership between Star Minerals, Cooperative Mineral Resources and Octopus Technologies is planning to produce prototype green batteries, which are lighter, greener and longer lasting than lead aced batteries.
Valuable end products were produced in bench scale tests which will ultimately be used for the green battery industry and steel industry.
Timeline of Cooperative Mineral Resources activities
December 4, 2014
A Signed MOU
We have signed a memorandum of understanding with Star Minerals Group Ltd. and Octopus Technologies Inc. to cooperate on developing a mine-to-market manganese-based battery technology. The agreement works toward an eventual joint venture. The complete release is here.
May 8, 2014
Bench scale processing of Manganese Successful
In the fall of 2013 new core samples were taken and sent to labs for bench scale testing using various mineral processing techniques to see if we could upgrade the manganese and iron to sellable products. By May we had successfully upgraded the manganese. The iron process is not complete, but will be finished at a later date.
Our goal for the bench scale test was to process the manganese to an Electrolytic Manganese metal (EMM) and Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD). The following text and information is excerpts I've taken from various articles on EMM and EMD.
'Today there are no domestic suppliers of EMM in North America today. China controls 97% of the world trade in EMM. EMM is used in the steel making industry. Manganese is the 4th largest traded metal worldwide and you cannot make steel without it. Manganese can also replace the more costly nickel alloy used in stainless steel.
One of the first new widespread uses for EMD is used in the cathodes of Lithium-Ion batteries for Electric Vehicles (EV). This technology is already used by GM's Chevy Volt, the Nissan Leaf and other automotive manufacturers. The Argonne National Laboratory has also developed a "High Capacity Manganese Rich Cathode" battery and they claim it holds twice the charge of other Lithium-Ion type batteries currently in use, can be recharged in a few minutes and has a lower production cost than other comparable Lithium-Ion type batteries currently in development.
The US is the largest consumer of EMD worldwide. Currently battery consumption of EMD is predicted to be the fastest growing segment of manganese production worldwide.'
We're very pleased the benchmark tests were able to successfully create EMD and EMM.
August 26, 2013
The mineralogy report is now complete. The Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing (CAMP) in Butte, Montana was sent fourteen core samples in April. The samples were photographed, crushed and then sieved in order to prepare and analyze using automated scanning electron microscopes and software. The purpose of the study was to determine the iron, manganese and ore mineralogy.
The study confirmed the physical and chemical analysis of the ore and leads us to believe that separation and processing should get the valuable minerals to a high grade.
This study was very important and had to be done, as we move to the next stage - a processing test. We have authorized sending samples to laboratories to mimic the processing phase. The samples will be crushed and processed to separate the iron and manganese from the quartz and ultimately the goal is to see the quality of the final processed ore material. That will help us to better update the economic report of the mining project and to see if we can achieve battery grade manganese.
We are still studying various techniques for extraction of the ore.
While this project is seeming to take a lot longer than we anticipated, it's important that all steps be taken to assure this mineral extraction project is viable and environmentally and economically feasible.
April 9, 2013
New core samples were taken in the fall of 2012 and early winter. The samples will expand our resource model and give us a closer understanding of the value and the amount of manganese, iron and silica we have at the Manganese deposit by Emily MN. The analysis is still not complete, but the economic study has begun with the knowlege of the new resource model. We have also begun the minerology to see how best to process manganese and iron once it is extracted. We anticipate several more months of study.
February 22, 2012
The Environmental Responsibility Committee (ERC) made up of local residents, lake associations and Emily City representatives met once again for a recap and review of the demonstration project. While the 'Operations' of the demonstration ended in the fall, studies of the demonstration and monitoring have been ongoing.
Cooperative Mineral Resources is currently taking the next six months to review data and understand varying techniques that may be used in a commercial operation if we decide to move forward with that.
|Bogart Longear well rigs drill core samples to further prove our resource estimate.|
|Core samples taken show rich black manganese and copper colored iron ore.|
|After the final permits were received necessary processing buildings and demonstration development infrastructure completed.|
Extra core samples were taken in September and October so CMR could learn as much as possible about the geology of the manganese site. Those samples are being tested at this time. Barr engineering is also working to complete white papers on the Demonstration findings and facts.
August 5, 2011
Extraction phase of Demonstration Complete... Operations shut down for study.
Spring Update, 2011
During the months of March, April and May, we've been operating the demonstration project and working to steadily improve production levels. Occassionally, we run into issues, where we modify the equipment, such as perhaps when a screen is too large or too small. Because of that we have not yet removed many truckloads of ore.
November 17, 2010
DEMONSTRATION PROJECT BEGINS!... Initial run late yesterday pulls valuable manganese from 360 feet below the ground surface.
November 9, 2010
An estimated seven hundred area residents toured the site of the manganese deposit on Saturday, October 27 as part of a special community open house. Cooperative Mineral Resources (CMR), a subsidiary of Crow Wing Power, is preparing to start their bulk sample demonstration project to show a new way to extract manganese. The open house gave people a chance to learn more about the project, the potential opportunity for the community, and the work that has been done to create the plan for this project.
August 18, 2010
Cooperative Mineral Resources has offered to sample all wells in the City of Emily, so that residents know the level of manganese and iron in their wells. The sampling is only being offered to help area residents learn about their particular well.
August 3 , 2010
Great News! EPA approves final permit needed for demonstration project. Today the Environmental Protection Agency approved an Injection Well Permit, allowing Cooperative Mineral Resources (CMR) to move forward in its plans to conduct a small bulk sampling demonstration project. The five acre manganese/iron site is now under renovation and construction to prepare the site for the proposed mid-September demonstration.
June 23, 2010
The Planning and Zoning Commission of Emily approved our Interim Use Permit.
May 26, 2010
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced their Record of Decision and determined no EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) is necessary for the proposed Bulk Sample Manganese Mineral Extraction Demonstration Project slated for later this summer.
Now the project can move forward to obtain necessary permits and work with the City of Emily for ordinance amendments. The demonstration bulk sampling project is slated for September pending all necessary permits, etc. are obtained in a timely manner.
October 29, 2009
The Environmental Responsibility Committee (ERC), that monitors the activities of Cooperative Mineral Resources (CMR) in the proposed Emily manganese/iron project, met for the third time on Wednesday, October 14, to review data and information gained from aquifer and ore extraction tests that were conducted recently.
May 13, 2009
Local Manganese/Iron Deposit Creates New Business Opportunity
Crow Wing Power met with the Emily City Council on Tuesday, May 12 to present a proposal to extract manganese from a mineral deposit in Emily.
Char Kinzer, Crow Wing Power PR manager, said the operation would not be mining as we’re used to. There will be no open pits and no use of chemicals, but extraction will be done through a borehole process using existing groundwater.
"We're proposing a method of extracting manganese without disturbing the environment of the city of Emily," Kinzer said. "It’s an opportunity we took charge of after foreign investors wanted to buy the land and mineral rights.”
“We’ve received feedback from several of our members that are pleased the valuable manganese has Crow Wing Power as a watchdog because of our local ties to the community and our track record for success and proper management.”
Mike Zipko, spokesman for Cooperative Mineral Resources, a subsidiary of Crow Wing Power created for the manganese project, said once the project is reviewed by local, state and federal authorities the goal would be to set up a demonstration project by this fall to determine if the bore process technology is feasible and economically viable.
Zipko assured the City Council that this project will be monitored closely by a team of experts, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health. Top engineering and mining firms have been contracted as well.
According to the plans if all the environmental tests return positive, it would take five years to extract the manganese from the site.
Kinzer said the manganese deposit is one of the few rich deposits in North America and recently had been pursued by foreign interests. All of the manganese used in this country is imported from foreign countries.
Zipko said it has not been determined what would be done with the mined manganese but it could be sold for steel, used in coal-burning power plants to reduce emissions or used in high tech batteries for electric vehicles.
Kinzer added, the money for the purchase came from proceeds of the sale of Hunt Technologies and not from rate payers.
“When we are done recovering all of the manganese and or iron, we will reclaim the site.” said Kinzer