There's an interesting story this week in Manganese Investing Newson developments in using manganese in lithium-ion batteries, saying "energy density and recharge rates are improved dramatically." They report that the "new Chevy Volt uses a version of a lithium-ion manganese rich battery."
Apparently China produces 97% of the world's electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) and puts a 20% export tariff on it, while the U.S. imposes a 14% import tariff.
Now, here's where the local comes in. There is currently no manganese production in the U.S. but the news report suggests that two ventures in Arizona, could become domestic manganese producers. They say "American Manganese which could be the lowest cost electrolytic manganese producer in the world at $0.44/lb compared with$0.98/lb in China. The second company is Wildcat Silver that is working on its Hardshell property in Arizona."
AZGS has a report by Jon Spencer on the Artillery manganese district in our 1991 Arizona Geology newsletter. Historically, Arizona produced over 200 million lbs of Mn, with 95 million of that coming from the Artillery mineral district in Mohave County. [right, schematic stratigraphic section of the upper Artillery Fm. Fig. 2, Arizona Geology, v21, #3, Fall, 1991]