Where Do You Find A Manganese Mine? Right Next To Another Manganese Mine – Maxtech Ventures Inc. (CNSX:MVT, FRA:M1NA, OTCMKTS:MTEHF)
Manganese will continue to be a key element in steel production, and the industry should continue to grow at a steady pace. Steel production will ensure that manganese remains as one of the most widely used elements in the world. On the technology side, electric vehicles, off-the-grid power systems and other energy storage applications will require significant amounts of high-quality manganese.
The estimated demand for manganese in 2022 is forecasted to reach 28.2 million metric tonnes. Compare this to historical rates of manganese production, which peaked in 2014 at 18.0 million MT. Clearly, the widening gap between supply and demand in the manganese space should lead to a healthy price increase over the next few years. We believe that one manganese explorer, in particular, is poised to take advantage of this dynamic, and its management team already has one exit under their belt in the manganese sector.
Maxtech Ventures Inc. (CNSX:MVT, FRA:M1NA, OTCMKTS:MTEHF)
Current Price: C$0.60
Shares Outstanding: 48.7 million
Market Capitalization: C$29.2 million
52-Week Range: C$0.12-C$0.63
Cash: ~C$0.6 million
Total Liabilities: ~C$0.1 million
Maxtech Ventures is advancing work on several high-grade manganese projects in Brazil. All of the company’s projects are located in Brazil, but Maxtech is focused on seizing the opportunity to become a global supplier, with customers in Europe, North America, and Asia.
The company’s aim to sell manganese products globally rests on the existence of high-quality infrastructure in the regions where it operates. Looking at this map, it may appear that the company’s projects are located in remote areas, however, the reality is that Maxtech has access to multiple high-volume commercial river ports. Additionally, a major regional road is slated to be constructed within a couple of years.
Maxtech is focused on the Brazilian region of Mato Grosso. The area has seen much less exploration and production than the neighboring Rondonia region; nonetheless, both regions have similar geology. Between Mato Grosso and Rondonia, known manganese mineralization extends across a belt of at least 250 kilometers. Most of the mineralization lies at surface, with reported grades reaching 54% or higher. These high-grade veins extend to over 80 meters in depth.
Since so much of the material is available at surface, mining it is not an expensive enterprise. The technical flow sheet for the production of manganese in the Eastern Rondonia/Western Mato Grosso region is very simple.
(Source: Maxtech Ventures)
This technical simplicity allows for cost control that is not possible for more complex methods of production. It is also one of the reasons why Maxtech believes that it can successfully compete in the global manganese market. Low production costs and increasing prices should allow Maxtech to generate healthy margins in the future.
Lastly, Mato Grosso is an area known for soybean production, and manganese-based fertilizers are widely used there. It can only be to Maxtech’s benefit to operate in close proximity to prospective end-users of its product.
Exploration costs for Maxtech should be quite modest, since most of the manganese in this region of Brazil is located at surface. It is rather a matter of scope, not depth, that Maxtech needs to worry about.
(Source: Maxtech Ventures)
With this in mind, Maxtech recently announced an exploration program. The program will include early-stage activities, such as prospecting, mapping, geochemical soil surveys, and ground-based geochemical surveys.
At Mato Grosso, there are two types of manganese mineralization – cobbles/clasts and hydrothermal veins. Maxtech will need to calibrate its exploration methods to study and understand both types of mineralization.
Most of the program can be completed using relatively inexpensive methods, including hand-dug pits, mobile auger drills, and trenching.
For us, it means that the company will be able to advance its understanding of Mato Grosso geology quickly and efficiently. When preliminary targets are identified, Maxtech will follow-up its green field exploration activities with traditional core drilling.
Maxtech is also very active on the acquisition front. Earlier in March, the company signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to form a joint venture partnership to develop the Buriturama Mine in the State of Bahia, Brazil with Plantiminas Empreendimentos Rurais Ltda.
The mine has existing access to railway, ports, and other infrastructure. The aim is to advance the Buriturama towards mining with a goal of generating 10,000 tonnes per month in production. The project already has a trial mining license for the processing of up to 6,000 tonnes of manganese mineralization. An application has already been submitted for a Lavra license, which would provide for unlimited mining activities at Buriturama.
One of the key features of Buriturama is its proximity to Mina do Azul, operated by Vale SA. Mina do Azul has manganese concentrations in the range of 40% and higher. Buriturama’s historical records (non-NI 43-101 compliant) indicate that its ore contains similar grades. Between regional-scale exploration programs and advancing Buriturama to production, Maxtech is engaged in building a vertically integrated manganese producer.
The company is also keenly aware of the multiple markets that its manganese products could serve. From local agriculture companies, which need manganese fertilizers to produce soy, to the global high-technology battery market, Maxtech has the potential to sell its production far and wide.
Vision – Replicating A Proven Model
This vision comes from the company’s seasoned management team. Maxtech is led by Mr. Peter Wilson, a financier with over $300 million in equity and debt financings under his belt. He has been involved in capital raising, corporate development, and management for over 20 years.
On the technical side, Maxtech’s project acquisition and exploration activities are overseen by the same team behind Cancana Resources.
Cancana’s flagship was the BMC Project, located in state the of Rondonia. As part of a joint venture on the project, Cancana was partnered with Ferrometals, an investment vehicle for the resource-focused private equity fund, The Sentient Group, which at the time had US$2.7 billion in assets under management. Cancana was eventually acquired by Ferrometals and in turn listed as Meridian Mining (CVE:MNO). Meridian Mining now boasts a market cap approaching CAD $100 million.
When the acquisition closed in November 2016, the original team from Cancana went right back to work, looking to replicate the same model.
With the experience that its CEO brings to the negotiating table, along with the expertise of its technical team in Brazil, there is good reason to believe that Maxtech can transition from explorer into producer and create substantial value for its shareholders.
Capital – Ready To Produce
Maxtech’s impending exploration program is a direct consequence of a financing that management arranged earlier in 2017. This $607,500 capital infusion is part of a larger financing effort that the company is undertaking. The plan is to spend most of the funds raised on its Brazil operations, plant engineering, and the preparation of a NI 43-101 report.
Maxtech’s financing push is backed by positive economic projections for the company’s near-term producing properties. The company forecasts that it can start production later in 2017 at a rate of 6,000 metric tons, moving to production of 26,500 tonnes by 2018, and ramping up to 67,000 tonnes by the end of the decade.
The company is close to reaching production stage, which will help it afford to continue purchasing prospective claims and projects in Brazil.
As a result of the company’s well-outlined focus and position in the middle of a manganese renaissance, we anticipate increased investor interest and significant share price upside. We expect continued momentum in the next twelve to eighteen months in response to hitting several of its key milestones.
Palisade Global Investments Limited holds shares of Maxtech Ventures Inc. We receive either monetary or securities compensation for our services. We stand to benefit from any volume this write-up may generate. The information contained in such write-ups is not intended as individual investment advice and is not designed to meet your personal financial situation. Information contained in this report is obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this report are those of Palisade Global Investments and are subject to change without notice. The information in this report may become outdated and there is no obligation to update any such information. Do your own due diligence.Share this on: