By Dr. Allen Alper, PhD Economic Geology and Petrology, Columbia University, NYC, USA
Interview with Larry Reaugh, President and CEO of American Manganese Inc. (TSX.V: AMY; Pink Sheets: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM): A Diversified Specialty and Critical Metals Company, Plans to Exploit its Process Patent to Recycle Lithium Ion Batteries
American Manganese Inc. (TSX.V: AMY; Pink Sheets: AMYZF; Frankfurt: 2AM), a diversified
specialty and critical metals company, plans to produce electrolytic manganese for the steel
and rechargeable battery markets, with their patented breakthrough lower cost, cleaner
process. We learned from Larry Reaugh, President and CEO of American Manganese, that they
are a few days away from announcing the successful results of applying their patented
process to recycle lithium ion batteries. That adds a whole different focus to the company.
American Manganese is partnering with Kemetco, one of the largest research firms in Canada,
that has a very good understanding of the mining and the battery industry and several other
chemical industries combined. Near term plans include filing for a patent and talking
internationally with large chemical companies. According to Mr. Larry Reaugh, we are talking
about closing the loop in the battery industry and breaking away from having to find new
deposits or having shortages of minerals.
Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor-in-chief of Metals News,
interviewing Larry Reaugh, who is president and CEO of American Manganese Incorporated. This
is a turnaround year for American Manganese of refocusing on recovery and the battery
industry. Could you tell me a bit about the focus of your company, what's happening, and
your vision for the company?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: I'd be happy to, Al. The focus has changed as a result of
the examination by Kemetco of our existing patent for producing electrolytic manganese metal
or electrolytic manganese dioxide for the battery industry, using our proprietary patented
process. They said this should work on recycling of lithium ion batteries. We examined it
and we agreed, but needed a proof of concept to prove to the world that we could do that. We
have now successfully completed our proof of concept. Everything has worked marvelously. We
have successfully completed the final phase of the proof of concept, which is building the
button cell rechargeable batteries.
We don't see any obstacles in the way. According to people, much more involved in
the industry than I am, we are the most advanced project out there. That gives us a whole
new focus. We're still a mining company. We look at inventory and here we have a patent that
can be used for something that's very necessary environmentally and much needed by the
battery manufacturing industry. It looks like we have the solution in hand.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds great. What are your plans going forward?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: We're going to file a patent very soon. We'll be doing
further work to prove up the concept of getting back the nickel, aluminum, and the other
battery chemistries that may work with our process. This is just to tighten up the patent
application. That's the next step and we will be moving forward with that.
It's really exciting. We've just been invited to the Nat Bat conference in Ann Arbor
in Michigan. We'll be the only Canadian company that's presenting. They were looking for
somebody with an advanced project and we do have that. They couldn't find anybody else.
We'll be taking Kemetco back and they'll do the presentation. This adds a lot of credibility
to what we're doing. Their membership is a very powerful group of companies from automotive
to recycling to battery manufactures etc., anybody interested in the battery industry.
That's going to open a lot of doors for us.
We just recently appointed two very prominent people to the advisory board. That
adds a lot of credibility to the company, but the big credibility has been completing the
proof of concept. It’s a different field. We're getting interest internationally on this and
starting to get some serious probes from some serious companies.
Dr. Allen Alper: That's great news. That's excellent technology, right in the
forefront and very timely.
Mr. Larry Reaugh: You look at the lithium we can recycle, the cobalt we can
recycle. You're looking at a closed loop, being able to take the product, recycle it and put
it back out there. It takes away from having to find new deposits or shortages of minerals
or anything like that. You will be taking it from existing batteries and recycling it.
Environmentally you don't have to put them in the dumpster. You don't burn them up
in smelters, which is the main way that they're doing it today and getting very little
reclamation except for some cobalt. We can get all those things back.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds excellent. Could you tell me a little bit about your
background and your team?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: Okay, my team on the technical side is Mike McLeod, he's
been with me for quite a number of years. He has experience in some recycling and shredding
of material that goes back quite a few years. He's a mining engineer and has a good
understanding of metallurgy. That's my basic team with the Kemetco Research Team. I've been
in the mining business for over 50 years. I've been involved in technologies publicly and
privately for probably about 7 or 8 years. It's not my first stint in technology or a
different field than we usually look at.
The company know-how in mining has helped immensely in the development of this
process. That's given us a leg up. I won't go into detail on that, but the fact of the
matter is that very few research companies have any experience with actually producing the
product that goes into a battery and that's essential. We have that experience. We developed
a process on which we spent millions of dollars and it was on the shelf. Now it's out in
front and this is a new step for the company.
We're not going to give up on the mining. It could involve working with the mining
along with the recycling, or it may be spinning off the mining assets in a dividend stock
deal to the existing shareholders and carrying on with the mining in that regards. Those are
the plans. We've only been at this for a few months and it's developing rapidly.
Dr. Allen Alper: So, what are the mining properties you have now?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: American Manganese Inc., owns a manganese property at
artillery peak in which we've retained 100% ownership. When EMD is more in demand and the
price goes up, that could be revisited. It'd be a lot cheaper to produce EMD than EMM.
That's another aspect of what we may be doing. We also have a rare earth property, which is
probably further back on the shelf. We do have a very interesting iron-oxide copper gold
property up by New Hazelton that's had past production of high grade gold, silver, copper,
molybdenum and cobalt. One of the shipments had 2 and half percent cobalt in it. We want to
revisit that, we're anxious to get back to that project. We think there's a huge deposit
there that's created this high grade along about a ten kilometer stretch. We would like to
get back in there and find that big deposit. That's the mining side of it.
Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds interesting. It's broader than I realized. Could you
tell me a bit about where your shares are listed?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: The shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the
symbol AMY.V. On the pink sheets in the U.S. under the symbol AMYZF and listed in Frankfurt
under the symbol 2AM. Most of our trading is done right here on the Venture Exchange. We've
traded close to 230 million shares since August the 8th so that gives you an idea of how
much interest there is in the company.
Dr. Allen Alper: This shows there is great interest in your company and the whole
area. Your shares have appreciated substantially this year too.
Mr. Larry Reaugh: That's right, we've had a high of $0.33 and we're currently
trading at $0.30-$0.31. The shares started out the year at 2 cents. It's been a substantial
Dr. Allen Alper: I must say that I admire what you have done. It's been a terrible 5
years for the mining industry and you have hung in there. You've developed your technology.
You have survived. A lot of people weren’t able to survive this terrible, terrible market. I
think now we're in the right place. You're able to get finances and the worst is over, the
best is coming.
Mr. Larry Reaugh: That's right. I’ve always believed in hard work and a good
dabble of luck helped things along. We've always known our patent was worth something. It
had to be a value that we knew was there. Now we're starting to show that yes, our patent is
worth something and it's increased the market cap from about a couple of million to a 42
million dollar market cap. There's value in that technology. We were fortunate enough to be
partnered with one of the largest research firms here in Canada (Kemetco Research Inc.) that
has a very good understanding of the mining and the battery industry and several other
chemical industries combined. With them and us working shoulder to shoulder, things are
Dr. Allen Alper: That's excellent. Do you want to say anything more about your
Mr. Larry Reaugh: Kemetco is, if you look at the press release that went out
Oct 29, 2016, you'll see that the key people on this project are Norm Chow and Joey Chung,
and Joey's a published battery expert. He has contacts all over the world. Norm is a
renowned researcher who's won awards and has sold several patents. If you take a brief look
at those bios that I put into the press release today, you'll see that they're substantial,
contractors in the company.
Dr. Allen Alper: I read those and they are impressive. It sounds like one has a
chemical background and the other has a metallurgical background, is that correct?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: That's true. Their backgrounds are much more diversified,
being in research they've done work for the lithium ion battery industry, the lead acid
battery industry, major mining companies, and gold and copper and all those types of
industries. Of course in the manganese interest, we were not a small client for them back in
2009 and 2012.
Dr. Allen Alper: That's excellent! I'm glad you teamed up with such strong, technical
partners. That's excellent! What are the primary reasons our high-net-worth
readers/investors should consider investing in your company?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: Having a process for recycling lithium ion batteries can be
huge. In a few years there will be millions of Lithium ion batteries reaching the end of
life. Somebody has to look after the recycling of them. You can't keep putting them into
toxic waste dumps or burning them up in smelters and losing the metal. The fact of the
matter is that there's a lot of interest in this area, not just from battery manufacturers
and Electric Vehicle (“EV”) companies, but just look at Google and Apple. Apple was, trying
to get an EV car out there. They see it as an evolving space. Not only that, but French oil
major Total SA has purchased a battery manufacturer for over a billion U.S.
The vistas wide open. If you're looking for a partner, if you're looking where to
get finance, it could come from anywhere. It doesn't necessarily have to come from somebody
directly in the industry but somebody who wants to get into the industry.
That leaves the gate wide open to what happens to the shares, what happens to the price. The
story only gets better so you'd hope that rate is reflected in the stock price.
Dr. Allen Alper: Is there anything you'd like to add Larry?
Mr. Larry Reaugh: I'd like to thank my old existing shareholder base for
supporting me and sticking with me all those years and the new ones that came in and sopped
up a lot of the penny stocks that were down at a lower price. I have a few tens of millions
of shares that were soaked up that way. It's never an effort of one, it's an effort of the
team. We have a good team. We have a good research company and we have a good shareholder
Dr. Allen Alper: That's excellent!
#2, 17942 55th Avenue
Larry W. Reaugh