We are returning old waste material into circulation and putting it to new uses. This is the essence of our project in a nutshell, but also the main principle of the circular economy. We want to extract manganese from the tailings at Chvaletice-Trnávka and use it to make high-purity manganese products for the electric vehicle industry.
MANGAN Chvaletice plans to start operating a plant for the production of high-purity manganese products in the East Bohemian town of Chvaletice in 2027. These products will be obtained by recycling waste material deposited at three tailings in Chvaletice-Trnávka. These tailings, not used at present, are a remnant of pyrite mining at the site between 1951 and 1975. It is the only known source of manganese suitable for the battery industry in the European Union. It is otherwise imported almost exclusively to Europe from China.
The essence of the project is the recovery of old waste from previous pyrite mining activity, i.e. recycling. This waste in the form of tailings contains about 6.5% manganese. It is therefore not a mining operation that would extract raw material from natural resources that would cause further disturbance to the character of the site.
The overall project of our company MANGAN Chvaletice involves recycling waste from previous mining activity, construction and operation of a production plant, and subsequent rehabilitation of the tailings area. Today’s technological capabilities and the increasing emphasis on sustainably obtaining resources, together with a demand for this raw material, make it a promising project. The implementation of the project will stop the ongoing contamination of groundwater, and we will also ensure the safe and appropriate reclamation of the entire tailings area.
Based on an extensive drilling survey that we conducted in the area in 2017 and 2018, we anticipate high-purity manganese production of approximately 50,000 tons per year for 25 years.
This is a unique opportunity not only for the Czech Republic but also for the whole of Europe to proceed in accordance with the Green Deal, which aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of Europe and to fulfil the principles of the circular economy.
Implementation of the Chvaletice-Trnávka tailings recycling project will guarantee a certain level of self-sufficiency in the supply of high-purity manganese products, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of their production and transport from China from where more than 90% of manganese suitable for electric vehicle batteries is currently imported.
At the same time, MANGAN Chvaletice will become the only high-purity manganese production plant in Europe where the raw material will be extracted and processed at the same location.
Up to 400 new jobs will be created with the opening of the MANGAN Chvaletice production plant which we plan to fill primarily by employees from the region. We will be looking for highly specialized, administrative as well as blue-collar positions.
Last but not least, both the state budget and the municipalities will gain substantial revenues in the form of taxes, compulsory levies and also fees for the extracted mineral.
Right now a new map of the electric vehicle industry is developing in Europe providing unique opportunities to European countries, including the Czech Republic. In addition to the construction of gigafactories, the provision of raw materials and the security of the raw material base also need to be addressed in the supply chains. Today, we depend on imports from other continents for many strategic raw materials including manganese, which poses a great risk. Our project will contribute to reducing this dependence.
High-purity manganese, i.e. manganese with 99.9% purity, is used mainly in advanced technologies and is one of the key raw materials for the production of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. According to qualified estimates, the planned capacity of lithium-ion batteries in Europe will increase several times, approximately to 1400 GWh by 2030.
Manganese will be used in the production of most of them: batteries using NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) chemistry are the dominant technological solution in the electric vehicle industry.
High-purity manganese products in the form of manganese sulphate and electrolytic manganese metal will be supplied by MANGAN Chvaletice to the manufacturers of electric vehicles, batteries and materials for active cathodes primarily in Europe. Europe is the most rapidly growing market for high-purity manganese.
Manganese of the highest quality will be produced in Chvaletice, with considerably higher purity than manganese imported from China. Importantly, it will be a product with a traceable origin and positive credentials in terms of sustainability and social responsibility. We see these aspects playing an increasingly important role for our customers as well.
Stopping groundwater contamination from the existing tailings and ensuring safe reclamation and rehabilitation of the entire area form an integral part of the project implementation. As shown by the hydrogeological study, the tailings are long-term sources of groundwater contamination. Keeping the present situation unchanged is risky: the contaminants will continue to be released in risky concentrations into the groundwater until all the harmful agents contained in the piles are fully dissolved, which may take hundreds of thousands of years. This risk will be eliminated by the project.
POnce the production plant has ceased operations, the reclaimed area of the tailings will be handed over to the original owners. The area, not accessible at present, will thus be changed into a reclaimed landscape that can be made accessible to the public again.
Since the beginning of the project, we have been discussing the future form of the reclaimed area with representatives from the most concerned municipalities and the local community. We organize tours of the tailings pile area and have opened an information centre at the House of Culture in Chvaletice.
in the tailings pile area
Start of operation
of the verification unit
Beginning of construction
of the production plant
Start of operation
of the production plant
End of operation
of the production plant
Launching of the demonstration plant is a milestone on the road to the production of high-purity manganese products at the MANGAN Chvaletice recycling plant. This is a pilot operation that replicates the proposed technology on a small scale. Besides testing the production process, the demonstration plant enables us to produce large-volume samples for our customers.
After completing the tests, we will start the operation of the demonstration plant in the production halls at EP Chvaletice in the spring of 2023. Limited amounts of materials are taken from the tailings for the test operation.
Approximately 30 kg of manganese metal or 100 kg of manganese sulphate are expected to be produced daily at the demonstration plant, to be used as samples for our customers.
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