The Los Pumas Manganese EV Battery Project in northern Chile is located 175 km inland from the Port of Arica and is a multiple layered tabular style manganese occurrence with a surface expression over 3.6km in length.
In July 2023 – Southern Hemisphere Mining announced plans to spin-out its 100% owned Los Pumas Project into a new stock exchange listing called Titan Battery Minerals Technology.
Lead Director of The Los Pumas Battery Metals Manganese Project, Natalie Dawson, said:
“This is a significant opportunity for Southern Hemisphere. The Los Pumas manganese deposit is substantial, high quality and geopolitically well suited to serve emerging technologies for energy storage, particularly in the US. Manganese has historically been used in lithium battery technologies principally as a stabiliser to decrease battery combustibility and increase density which assists with increasing EV driving range.
Going forward, we expect low-cost manganese cathode technology to significantly contribute to lowering the unit cost per kWh of energy storage both for existing lithium-ion batteries but also for newer battery technologies such as sodium manganese batteries. The expected increase in demand should have a positive impact on the price of high purity manganese as we progress development.”
In May 2023 – Southern Hemisphere Mining Limited (ASX: SUH, FWB: NK4) reported a substantial JORC mineral resource upgrade for its wholly owned Los Pumas Manganese Project in Chile to 30.26 million tonnes of ore, including 23.3 million tonnes in the indicated category.
This now concludes the exploration stage of this long-life battery metal manganese project and moves it to the scoping and metallurgical study phase.
This advance marks a major milestone in our plans to provide high-quality resources for the production of High-Purity Manganese at site in Northern Chile to supply the North American and European Union Electric Vehicle (“EV”) markets.
- Mineral Resource Estimate – 30.2Mt @ 6.24% Mn
- 38% Mn concentrate from initial metallurgical test work
- Low Iron & Phosphorous, High Silica
- Close to Surface
- Simple Mining – 2.5mtpa plant
- Strip ratio circa 1:1
- Excellent logistics and near mine infrastructure in northern Chile
- Project plan to utilise hydro and solar power and minimise carbon footprint in all phases of production in this low population area
In March 2023 – The Company announced first stage leach amenability test-work had been completed (HPMSM for EV Batteries) at Los Pumas by Mn Energy.
- Los Pumas ore suitable for HPMSM for the battery metals market.
- Los Pumas ore achieved ~99% extraction of Manganese under “standard” leach conditions, producing a leach solution containing 80 g/L Manganese.
Natalie Dawson, Lead Director on the Los Pumas Manganese Project said:
“It is a great opportunity to combine Mn Energy’s patented technology with the Company’s wholly owned Los Pumas Project to extract more manganese more efficiently. Given the projects location and surrounding infrastructure, the Los Pumas Manganese Project should start attracting interest from those within the electric vehicle industry.”
The Company has undertaken several drilling campaigns on this project and in March 2023 produced an updated JORC Mineral Resource Estimate at Los Pumas.
In October 2021 – The Company presented its EV Battery Market plans for the Los Pumas Manganese Project.
Chairman Mark Stowell on Los Pumas.
“Los Pumas was the project this company was founded on. Los Pumas alone has had $20m spent on it, it’s a stand alone project by itself and gets a bit forgotten.
But with the EV revolution really starting to change the metrics around Los Pumas. It was discovered by the company in 2006-07, it’s in northern Chile and it’s a 23m tonne deposit and had a scoping study put out on it. But then the Manganese price collapsed, so we just hung on to it waiting for the opportunity and the markets to turn – which it is now.
Our project has cryptomelane type ore which is ideally suited towards the manufacturing of high purity Manganese, which is a critical cathode material. There’s no production of high purity Manganese (HPMSM) in North America – and we’re not far from North America in northern Chile.
For the latest on the Los Pumas Manganese EV Battery Project please see the news feed on this page.
The Company’s original Technical Report from Coffey Mining contained an estimate of the resource at Los Pumas – it is now updated – from 2011.
Manganese is the fourth most used metal on earth in terms of tonnage and the electrification of the global vehicle fleet requires vast amounts of cathode materials – and batteries are trending toward higher manganese content for safer, more cost-effective solutions.
- SUH is engaging technical specialists to guide process and development option studies for the use of Los Pumas ore in Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) batteries or similar, aimed at the EV market.
- SUH target is to provide manganese ores to produce High Purity Manganese Sulphate Monohydrate (HPMSM).
- Manganese is used in the vast majority of NCM batteries. HPMSM is currently the lowest cost NCM cathode metal and lowers the cost of batteries.
- SUH strives to produce Carbon Neutral Manganese for HPMSM or similar.
The Company is currently seeking potential JV partners to advance this project into production.