Euro Manganese Inc.'s goals are to:
Recycle the manganese contained in the wastes of an old mining operation to build a profitable and environmentally sustainable business
Behave in a socially respectful and highly ethical fashion
Become a valued member of the local community
Restore the Project site, leaving it in better condition than it is today
We must strike a balance to sustain the demands of modern living that are met by using metals while still achieving our society’s environmental protection and social expectations. Waste recycling is an excellent step in the right direction. The Chvaletice Manganese Project is being planned and designed to achieve the highest standards of environmental and social excellence, while producing products that stand to make our modern society safer, more efficient and more sustainable.
EMN’s team has an extensive history of progressive thinking and responsible development. We are committed to adhering to the very highest ethical, technological, environmental and social standards at Chvaletice while strictly complying with all Czech and EU regulations.
Development of a commercial tailings reprocessing operation on the Chvaletice site is a great opportunity to conduct a valuable, self-funding restoration project that will recycle Communist-era industrial waste, remediate historical contamination and, at the same time, competitively supply high-purity manganese products for the needs of technologically-advanced enterprises in the Czech Republic, Europe and the rest of the world.
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
It is Euro Manganese Inc.’s clear objective that the Chvaletice Manganese Project be well integrated into its natural and social environment. For the success of our Project, it is crucial that we ensure that it fits well into the environment and lifestyle of local communities, and that we develop deep and enduring relationships with local residents.
Since day one, our team has been proactive in reaching out to local community members, governments and various organizations to develop a deep understanding of the local setting, both from an environmental and human perspective. By better understanding where we are working and with whom we will coexist, we can design and implement a better business plan.
In February 2018, we inaugurated a Project Information Centre in Chvaletice’s municipal Culture House to serve as our project office and a key point of direct contact for local residents in the heart of the community. From this local base, we will expand and intensify a comprehensive community outreach and consultation program. Our goal here is to ensure that all stakeholders are given a meaningful opportunity to learn about EMN’s intentions and to allow community members to provide valuable input during the Project’s evaluation, planning and development phases. Our External Grievance Mechanism also enables stakeholders to register and get responses to grievances in a structured and time-bound manner.
The extensive technical studies and related activities planned and underway at the Project - as well as the potential construction and operation of this important tailings reprocessing and remediation facility - are expected to generate quality employment for the region’s residents over at least three decades. The reclamation and modern restoration of the Chvaletice tailings deposits are expected to become a positive long-term legacy for the region.
Consultation with neighboring communities has been ongoing, and has over the past few years covered an increasingly broader area surrounding the Project site. In mid-2019, Trnavka and the other neighbouring municipality, Chvaletice, on which the Project tailings are located, voted unanimously to approve the initiation of the rezoning process of the lands underlying the Project’s tailings deposit under municipal land use plans. The Chvaletice Manganese Project continues to receive strong support from the state and from local communities and residents.
The permitting process for the Project continues to build on five years of meaningful and constructive engagement with governments, regulatory agencies and local communities. The Company has benefitted from ongoing collaboration and support for the Project at various levels of the Czech Government, who approved the Company’s application for investment tax credits on eligible project expenditures, and, in March 2020, issued a ruling under European Union’s Natura 2000, which determined that the Chvaletice Manganese Project is not expected to adversely impact endangered and protected species habitat.
Current permitting work is focused on producing a Final Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Project. Completing the assessment is the next step in the permitting process, following the successful initial public screening procedure of the Project’s Preliminary EIA by the Czech Ministry of the Environment in late 2020.
As part of its stakeholder engagement work, the Project has hosted ten major public presentations for seven local villages, conducted numerous site tours of the Project site for local civic leaders and residents, and presented the project to many small groups and individuals, including regional and civic permitting authorities, mayors, municipal boards and local schools. Based on the outcomes of these intensive community consultations and the initial Ministry of the Environment screening procedure, the Project has been well-accepted by stakeholders, with no critical concerns.
“The Project has received all necessary regulatory, permitting and tenure approvals to date in an expeditious way,” says Jan Votava, Managing Director of EMN’s Czech operation. “We appreciate the support and professionalism of the Czech Government and regulatory authorities, and the collaborative and respectful attitude of local communities.”
Local groundwater has long been contaminated by the existing Chvaletice tailings deposits, which leach metals and salts into the underlying aquifer. Regulatory bodies that participated in the initial screening procedure have viewed the Project positively because it is designed to eliminate the longstanding source of water pollution and restore the site back to a more natural state.
Water management is an essential part of the project design. A comprehensive groundwater monitoring program has been in place since 2017 to establish benchmark data on the extent of the contamination. To date, 25 monitoring wells have been drilled, and the water is tested monthly. The Company is targeting the use of only recycled, contaminated and waste water in its production process.
The Chvaletice Manganese Project does not entail the development of a mine – It is a mine waste reprocessing, recycling and remediation project. Euro Manganese Inc. is intent on developing a world class waste recycling operation that will adhere to leading environmental management and reclamation practices. By reprocessing the Chvaletice tailings, a collateral benefit is expected to be the self-funding remediation of a site that is a current source of water and ground pollution, leaving it in better condition than it is today and compliant with modern Czech and European Union environmental laws and standards.
Without metals we would have no batteries, no wind turbines no solar panels, no geothermal wells and no bicycles; no electric cars, no zero-emission buildings and no electricity, and little if any music in our lives. Even cooking food and modern medicine would become very difficult indeed. Metals are needed to create the ingredients for real sustainability, not to mention the improvement in the quality of life of billions of people all over the world. To sustain the modern standard of living that we demand and that metals provide, while meeting our society’s environmental protection expectations, we must strike a balance. It is a question of how best to secure the metals that modern society needs. Waste recycling is an excellent step in the right direction.
Chvaletice is located 90km east of Prague in the Pardubice Region. The town lies in an agrarian yet industrialized valley, where the navigable Labe River, also known as the Elbe River in German, runs towards the port of Hamburg on the North Sea, through the Czech Republic and Germany. The Labe River has long provided Chvaletice with an important river trade link.
Chvaletice is located at the foot of the Železné Hory (Iron Mountains), in a valley covered by extensive farmland, peppered with small towns and villages, and dotted with places of significant national interest, including nature reserves, ancient castles and historical sites, such as the world-renowned Kladruby National Stud Farm. The topography of the surrounding areas is gentle and covered by farmed fields, as well as deciduous and coniferous forests.
Industrial development in the immediate vicinity of the Chvaletice tailings is fairly concentrated and centered around the 820MW Chvaletice thermal power station. A major industrial hub is located around the city of Pardubice, 25 km east of Chvaletice, where heavy electrical, chemical and automotive industries are predominant. The Chvaletice area is within easy access of major highways and is traversed by one of the country’s busiest rail corridors.
The vicinity of the Chvaletice tailings has been significantly impacted by past mining and related heavy industrial activities. Mining activity at Chvaletice ended in 1975. Czech law exempts land owners and developers from impacts prior to 1989, when communism ended in then Czechoslovakia.
In September 2017, EMN completed a full year of environmental baseline studies of the Chvaletice tailings area, including flora and fauna surveys, surface and underground water sampling/monitoring, and climatic studies. The studies have confirmed that while there are onsite sensitivities and risks that EMN must manage, there are no major roadblocks anticipated. There are, for instance, no critical endangered species’ habitats on or immediately adjacent to the Chvaletice tailings site. Meanwhile, we confirmed that there is extensive and ongoing groundwater contamination beneath the unlined tailings piles.
The project has been designed from the ground up with ESG principles and practices in mind. The extraction process is designed to be powered by renewable energy sources, and the project plans to recycle CO2 and hydrogen by-product streams. Unlike other sources of high purity manganese, the plant and resource are at the same location, reducing transportation costs and enhancing the project’s already low carbon footprint.
The Chvaletice resource consists of a fine, sandy material that can be easily excavated. The tailings will be made into a slurry and fed into a processing plant, which will use magnetic separation, leaching and electrolysis to produce high purity manganese metal flakes (HPEMM). After removing most of the manganese in the extraction process, the reprocessed tailings will be washed of residual reagents and dissolved metals, neutralized and then dry-stacked on a long-life impermeable liner, before capping and revegetation for productive community use.