Battery Raw Materials Also Part Of Tesla’s Gigafactory Story

Tesla’s gigafactory has echoes in the political spheres, but is also creating waves in the battery manufacturing and the mining industries.

American Manganese Inc., a company mining in Arizona raw materials needed for EV batteries, added its views by stating where they would like to see raw materials sourced.

According to the mining company, Tesla’s gigafactory sparks new interest for secure lithium ion battery raw material sources.

American Manganese describes itself as a diversified specialty and critical metal company focusing on potentially becoming the lowest cost producer of electrolytic manganese products from its Arizona Manganese Project (pictured).

“The recent (Feb. 26, 2014) announcement by Tesla Motors of the imminent construction of a Lithium Ion Battery Gigafactory has raised the bar for electric vehicle production,” said Larry W. Reaugh, president and chief executive officer of American Manganese Inc. “Initial production from the Gigafactory is scheduled for 2017, and full production scheduled for 2020. At full capacity, the facility would manufacture as many lithium ion batteries as the 2013 total world production.”

Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas are vying to host the manufacturing facility, with  Arizona being the most aggressive thus far, as proposed bill 2123 in the state legislature would legalize direct sales of Tesla electric cars within the state.

Tucson Arizona (Pima County) has submitted a formal proposal to Tesla to become the host site.

Another communication from Mohave County Economic Development to Tesla referred to American Manganese’s Artillery Peak Manganese Project as an additional incentive to locate in Mohave County.

American Manganese said it has a patented hydrometallurgical process for the commercial production of Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM), Electrolytic Manganese Dioxide (EMD), and Chemical Manganese Dioxide (CMD) from manganese resources.

EMD and CMD are used in dry cell and rechargeable batteries.

Lithium Manganese Dioxide (LMD) rechargeable batteries, also known as spinel, are currently being used in the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf electric vehicles.

American Manganese declared it successfully produced rechargeable lithium ion battery prototypes utilizing high purity CMD from their Artillery Peak manganese resource in late 2012. CMD eliminates the use of expensive electroplating cells and high electricity costs.

“It is my belief that Tesla’s project is concrete evidence of the growth and viability of the electric car market, resulting in greater demand for lithium ion batteries,” said Reaugh. “The need for secure metal feed stocks used to make these batteries; such as Manganese, Cobalt, Lithium, Carbon, and others; will correspondingly increase to meet the soaring electric vehicle demand.”

Reading between the lines, it is clear American Manganese Inc. would like to be the company providing raw materials to this upcoming Tesla gigafactory.