Euro Manganese (TSX/ASX:EMN) and Nano One (TSX:NANO / OTC NASDAQ:NNOMF) have entered a Joint Development Agreement that will see the two companies focusing on the development of high purity manganese products to be used as cathode materials. The partnership will see the companies collaborating on the development of economically viable and environmentally sustainable applications for high purity manganese.
Euro Manganese will be providing high purity manganese from its proposed Chvaletice Manganese Project, to be evaluated by Nano One in the formation of its innovative cathode materials, including LNMO (lithium nickel manganese oxide) and nickel rich NMC (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide).
The development agreement follows Nano One’s recently announced memorandum of understanding with a global automotive company to focus on low cost, cobalt-free, manganese rich, LNMO batteries.
“An integral part of the world’s battery supply chain”
“Euro Manganese stands to become a leader in sustainably produced battery grade manganese products,” its CEO Marco Romero explained. “We look forward to a day when our manganese and Nano One’s cathode materials are an integral part of the world’s battery supply chain and helping drive the electrification of mobility.”
These materials will be prepared using Nano One’s patented One-Pot process. Both LNMO and NMC have great potential in both conventional and solid-state battery applications for electric vehicles, renewable energy storage and consumer electronic devices. Manganese, which is already an essential battery material in the majority of lithium-ion batteries, is far less costly than nickel or cobalt, and can help bring down the cost of batteries, making EVs more affordable.
The LNMO battery chemistry delivers energy and power on a par with NMC and is more cost effective because it is manganese rich, cobalt free, low in nickel and does not require excess lithium. LNMO also operates at a voltage that is 25% higher than commercial high nickel cathodes, enabling fewer cells, improved productivity, efficiency, thermal management, and power.
“Nano One has ambitious plans to be a major participant in the battery driven transformation of mobility and renewable energy storage, and we are doing so by changing how the world makes cathode materials,” said Nano One CEO, Dan Blondal. “Our LNMO is unique, differentiated and well positioned to address the automotive industry’s recent interest in manganese rich batteries and our coated nanocrystal NMC is targeting demand for increased durability in long range battery applications.”
Why manganese is so important
The agreement is the latest of several sealed by Nano One within the battery materials space, including several global companies that are focused on ensuring they put in place strong local battery supply chains. Nano One has been working with a number of OEMs, including Volkswagen, on research and development projects related to battery materials.
Euro Manganese’s Chvaletice Manganese Project in the Czech Republic has the potential to become Europe’s only primary producer of battery-grade manganese products. The agreement with Nano One has the scope to further position Euro Manganese as an emerging industry leader. Manganese has been growing in importance in the global EV and battery industries.
The announcement by Elon Musk on the Tesla Battery Day last year is regarded as a major vote for manganese – Tesla said it would be moving to a zero cobalt lithium-ion battery with a manganese-rich cathode chemistry containing two thirds nickel and one third manganese.
The Nano One/Euro Manganese deal comes as focus on the sustainable and economic production of high-quality batteries reaches new levels. Several major companies, among them Volkswagen, Stellantis, Renault and BASF have said they will be using manganese in their battery chemistries.
“As the European Union and its automotive industry accelerate their electrification plans, and demand for battery grade manganese continues to grow, the future of Euro Manganese has never looked brighter,” added Romero.