JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified explorer Montezuma Mining is seeking to take advantage of the strong conditions in the commodity markets by expediting work on its Butcherbird manganese project, in Western Australia.
The company has submitted a mining lease application to cover the Yanneri Ridge and Coodamudgi manganese deposits.
Montezuma is currently completing a scoping study on the Yanneri Ridge resource, which will be the initial focus for proposed mining operations. The Yanneri Ridge has an inferred resource of 48-million tonnes at 10.7% manganese and an indicated resource of 22.5-million tonnes at 12% manganese.
The company is aiming to produce high-value products, rather than competing in the traditional bulk commodity manganese market. “While high-purity manganese makes up only 10% of the total manganese market by volume, it accounts for an estimated 40% of the total value in sales,” Montezuma said in a statement on Thursday.
Citing May 2017 research by UBS Global, the company puts an estimated value of $3.6-billion a year to the high-purity manganese market.
“The mining lease application confirms Montezuma’s commitment to progressing the project and the strong belief in its ability to deliver premium manganese products for a number of markets,” the company stated on Thursday.