VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA –November 27, 2017 ALTAIR RESOURCES INC. (“Altair” or the “Company”) (TSXV: AVX; Germany FRA: 90A; ISIN: CA02137W1014; WKN: WKN A2ALMP) Mr. Harold (Roy) Shipes, CEO, is pleased to announce that Altair Resources Inc. is evaluating the possibility of becoming a producer of high grade manganese dioxide at its mines in Pioche, Nevada, USA. Altair is currently evaluating this potential in addition to assessing the potential for production of silver, zinc, lead concentrates. Altair has hired Environmental Engineering Consultants (EEC) and is currently in the permitting process for the re-opening the mines as indicated in the news release dated October 23, 2017.
Altair’s holdings at Pioche include both the Prince Mine, and the Pan American Mine. The latter last operated as a Joint Venture between the Anaconda Corporation and the Bunker Hill Company which mined an average of 1,500 tons per day of sulfide replacement mineralized material grading 57g/t of silver and 0.14g/t of gold, 1.2% lead, 2.4% zinc, and 9 % manganese as carbonate (Bunker Hill Company,
and Anaconda Corporation Historical Reports).
Cautionary Note Regarding any Pioche Production Decision
Both any decision to anticipate production at the Pioche Project and any Company plans to date for a mining operation are based on economic models prepared by the Company in conjunction with management’s knowledge of the property. Any anticipated Production Decision and Plans to date are not based on a preliminary economic assessment, a pre-feasibility study or a feasibility study of mineral reserves demonstrating economic and technical viability. Accordingly, at this point there is increased uncertainty and economic and technical risks of failure associated with any anticipated Production Decision and Plans.
However, the Company plans to complete a National Instrument 43-101 Report prior to any Production Decision. Any Production Decision will be based upon a Preliminary Economic Assessment and any further Preliminary Feasibility Studies necessary.
Manganese in Tailings
Altair’s recent activities include the purchase of the Pan Am and Prince Mines in addition to the nearby Caselton 2000 tpd mill. Both mines have a manganese content (Anaconda, and Bunker Hill historical reports) which was not previously exploited. Battery grade manganese is typically produced by solution processes and the Pioche property is being evaluated for the possibility of producing high purity battery grade manganese . When in production, it is anticipated the newly mined Pan Am mill feed will contain manganese. Additionally, from historical production, a dry-stacked stockpile of tailings, and a tailings facility containing material from many years of production may provide plant feed. These are currently being drilled, measured, and evaluated for recovery, reprocessing, and reclamation.
The Need for Manganese in Electric Vehicle Batteries
The currently lauded and popular Lithium-ion batteries are expensive to manufacture and prone to over-heating. A recent innovation makes batteries cheaper and safer – and requires manganese. Manganese is increasingly being used in cathode materials. The cathode is the negatively charged electrode of any battery. Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) cathodes are made of nickel, manganese and cobalt. The Green Car Congress has confirmed that NMC cathodes have improved power balance and thermal stability at a lower cost to conventional cathodes.
Manganese has the following demand drivers:
- A critical component of the cathode material in modern alkaline, lithium, and sodium batteries
- Green/clean energy credentials – weaning off fossil fuels.
- Manganese is likely to remain the preferred energy material for the future.
- Manganese is also well suited for cathode mix in bulk energy storage & energy management for portable power and integrating solar and wind renewable energy.
- There is a production shortage of manganese, which is why the spot price keeps marching
- There are currently no operating manganese mines in North America. Most of the supply comes from China and Africa – which brings political risks, tariffs, and transportation costs.
The chemical subsidiary of LG Electronics, LG Chem and 3M, have already started using NMC cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries. LG Chem supplies NMC-based Li-ion batteries to plug-in vehicles. Additionally high purity manganese is used by Nano One in its development of specific cathode combinations for specific applications in electric vehicle and other uses. An excerpt from Nano One’s website (November, 2017) is as follows:
“In summary, Nano One has now.” successfully piloted NCM111 and NCM622 with nickel content at 33% and 60%, respectively. NCM refers to ratios of nickel, cobalt and manganese. Nano One is also developing other important cathode materials at the laboratory scale in preparation for piloting that include NCM811, NCA (nickel rich cobalt aluminate), LMNO (high voltage cobalt free spinel), LFP (lithium iron phosphate), LMO (lithium manganese oxide), and NCM325 (lithium manganese rich)”
Dr. Stewart A Jackson, P.Geo. , a Qualified Person under National Instrument NI 43-101, and a Technical Consultant to the Company has prepared, supervised the preparation of, or approved the scientific and technical disclosure in this press release.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD,
Harold Shipes, CEO