Our European battery metals investment, Euro Manganese (ASX:EMN), could be a beneficiary of a Tesla battery chemistry pivot.
Elon Musk was quoted as saying at a recent Tesla event in Germany:
“I think there’s an interesting potential for manganese.”
Manganese is an essential ingredient in batteries for EVs and EMN is ideally located in the Czech Republic surrounded by European gigafactories in neighbouring countries that will crank out the batteries needed to electrify transport in Europe.
EMN’s project is specifically focussed on high purity manganese suitable for EV batteries.
The potential for higher manganese content in lithium-ion batteries has also been widely discussed in both academic and industry circles.
You can see a breakdown of the current performance of various battery chemistries that use manganese below:
Musk’s comments come at a time when VW has announced that its next battery cell factory will be located in Valencia, Spain. That follows its commitment last year to build out a strong European battery supply chain by investing in six gigafactories, including one in Eastern Europe yet to be announced.
We think 2022 promises to be an exciting year for EMN under new CEO Matthew James, with a number of key milestones to come.
James said in a recent interview that,
“Historically the customers have been more focused on lithium, nickel and cobalt. There’s a sense now they’re turning their attention to manganese. The perception has been that there’s plenty of manganese, but where the bottle neck is in the high purity processing capacity.”
EMN recently announced a deal with the local Czech government stakeholders as well, further adding to the legitimacy of their project.
What we’re looking for next is progress across our four key objectives for EMN in 2022 :
- Objective #1: Construction of the Demonstration Plant
- Objective #2: Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS)
- Objective #3: First Offtake Partner
- Objective #4: Early Progress on Project Financing
You can get a more complete high level summary of why we invested in EMN, key risks and our investment plan in our EMN Investment Memo.