We signed an agreement with North Star Manganese Inc, a US-based mineral resource company, to lead the evaluation of our manganese site near Emily. They are working toward planning of a commercial operation for some time in the future.
Bench-scale processing of manganese was successful. Our goal for the bench-scale test was to process the manganese to an Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM) and Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD).
Today there are no domestic suppliers of EMM in North America and is the 4th largest traded metal worldwide. China controls 97% of the world trade in EMM and is used in the steel-making industry. One of the first widespread uses for EMD is used in the cathodes of Lithium-Ion batteries for Electric Vehicles (EV).
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.
The mineralogy report is now complete. The Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing (CAMP) in Butte, Montana was sent fourteen core samples. The purpose of the study was to determine the iron, manganese, and ore mineralogy. The testing acknowledged the physical and chemical analysis of the ore which confirmed that separation and processing should get the valuable minerals to a high grade.
The Environmental Responsibility Committee (ERC) made up of local residents, lake associations and Emily City representatives met 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.
During the months of March, April and May, we operated the demonstration project and worked to steadily improve production levels. Occasionally, we ran into issues, where we had to modify the equipment. By fall the extraction phase of the demonstration project was complete and Barr engineering worked to complete white papers on the Demonstration findings and facts.
An estimated seven hundred area residents toured the site of the manganese deposit as part of a special community open house to learn more about the project and the potential opportunity for the community. Preparations began to start the bulk sample demonstration project to exhibit a new way to extract manganese. Cooperative Mineral Resources provided well testing to residents in the City of Emily, allowing them to learn the level of manganese and iron in their well.
EPA approved the final permit needed for the demonstration project and the Planning and Zoning Commission of Emily approved our Interim Use Permit.
Local Manganese/Iron Deposit Creates New Business Opportunity. Crow Wing Power met with the Emily City Council to present a proposal to extract manganese from a mineral deposit in Emily.
Cooperative Mineral Resources, a subsidiary of Crow Wing Power, had the project reviewed by local, state, and federal authorities to allow a demonstration project to begin.
The Environmental Responsibility Committee (ERC), which monitors the activities of Cooperative Mineral Resources (CMR) in the proposed Emily manganese/iron project, met several times throughout the year to review data gained from aquifer and ore extraction tests along with other pertinent information.