American Manganese (TSX-V:AMY) said Wednesday that it has significantly increased its manganese estimate for its Artillery Peak project in Arizona, as the company just completed a new NI 43-101 compliant resource report, which incorporates the results of the 2010 drilling program at the property.
The 2010 drilling program included 53 reverse circulation drill holes totaling 4,526.3 metres on patented claims located on the northern third of the property.
Currently, the indicated resource for the property stands at 92.8 million tonnes at a grade of 3.27% Mn (using a 0.9% cut-off grade), while the inferred resource totals 107.2 million tonnes at a grade of 3.76% Mn.
Previously, using the same cut-off grade, the indicated estimate was 10.9 million tonnes at a grade of 4.46% Mn, and the inferred resource totaled 96.9 million tonnes at a grade of 4.52% Mn.
"Not only has the amount of contained Mn metal increased by about 45%, but also the amount of the resource in the indicated category has increased by more than six times from the previous estimate. These results support our belief in the character and quality of the Artillery Peak Deposit, and there is a lot more ground to explore to expand the resource further," said president and CEO Larry W. Reaugh.
China controls electrolytic manganese production (EMM), supplying and producing 97.44% of the world's needs, which equates to about 2.6 billion pounds per year.
There currently is no substitute for manganese in steel, and it is the most critical metal at risk to supply and restriction in the United States as there is no US production. EMM's is used for the upgrading of specialty steel and the manufacture of aluminum alloys and electronics.
The EMM market grew at 26% per year from 2003 - 2008, to 2.6 billion pounds per year. Manganese resources are currently on the decline in China, however.
American Manganese is aiming to become a low-cost manganese producer from its Arizona project.