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    Optimistic with market outlook of selenium-free manganese flake
    ----Interview with Jing Zhang
    Marketing director
    Luxi Xinxing Metallurgy Co.
    Luxi Xinxing Metallurgy co. was founded in 1998 and headquartered in Tianmenxi village, Luxi county, Wuxi town. The company set up production bases in Hunan and Guangxi and now has 5 branches with a total asset of 600 million yuan and 585 employees. The company has obtained ISO9001 certification for all kinds of products, and its "Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min" battery products are well sold in the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union and other countries and regions. The company enjoys a high reputation and credibility both in domestic and international market, and is well received by the majority of users.

    Asian Metal: Hello, Mr. Zhang! Thank you for accepting the interview by Asian Metal. Please introduce your company first.

    Mr. Zhang: Luxi Xinxing Metallurgical Co., Ltd. was established in 1998 and is a long-established company specializing in smelting industry. The company's products include Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min, manganese flake 99.7%min, chromium metal, phosphate ore and so on. At present, the company has become a private high-tech enterprise integrating deep processing of mineral products, production and sales of new materials and new energy materials. At present, the Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min plant is located in Luxi County in the manganese triangle area, with an annual capacity of 20,000t; the plant of production and sales of manganese flake 99.7%min is located in Jingxi City, Guangxi Province, with an annual capacity of 30,000t.

    Asian Metal: Are there any differences between Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min and manganese flake 99.7%min with regard to production technique?

    Mr.Zhang: the basic production technique and equipment for Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min are almost the same with those of manganese flake 99.7%min, but there are some differences regarding the use of raw materials. Both techniques require for manganese carbonate ore, sulfuric acid and liquid ammonia. The one for manganese flake 99.7%min also requires for selenium dioxide but that for Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min doesn't. Besides, during the production process, the proportion, the sequence, and the purity requirement of feeding, as well as the consumption and microelement index, also differ. For instance, the purity of manganese could only reach 99.7%min as selenium dioxide is used as the additive in the traditional production technique. While the technique for producing manganese 99.9%min requires the impurity of Se of 0.05%max. We use sulfur dioxide instead of selenium dioxide as the additive so that we could guarantee the purity of manganese and ensure the product does not contain selenium element. In addition, we adopt three-section purification technique for solvent purification to replace the traditional double-section technique (one section for vulcanization and one for activated carbon absorption. We confirm that the new technique has better performance on removing impurities in the solvent. By adopting the double-section of vulcanization progress to extend the duration of sulfide liquid in the cell, we could guarantee sufficient vulcanization reaction to ensure the quality of electrolyte for producing Se-free manganese 99.9%min.

    Asian Metal: What about differences in the application?

    Mr.Zhang: About 90% of manganese flake 99.7%min is consumed in iron and steel industry and 10% in non-ferrous metallurgy, chemical industry, electronics, battery, agriculture and other departments. Given good affinity with oxygen and sulfur, manganese plays as the deoxidizer and desulfurizer in liquid steel production. Manganese can also enhance the intensity and hardenability of steel as it can promote the ferritie and refine pearlite. So manganese is an important alloy element. The strength limit of steel increases with the increase of manganese content (when less than 7%), namely an increase of 1% of manganese could enhance about 980666.5kPa of the steel and the plasticity also strengthens. When the content of manganese in steel is more than 10%, the corrosion resistance of steel in the atmosphere is greatly enhanced. Manganese can also reduce the harm of oxygen and sulfur to steel, thus improving the malleability and rolleability of steel. Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min is mainly used in new energy materials, ternal-texture materials, food-grade additives, welding materials, such as cans will add Selenium-free manganese flake 99.9%min.

    Asian Metal: How is the Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min business in your company?

    Mr.Zhang: At present, we mainly export our Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min and the domestic sales accounts a little. At present, the Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min market competition is also relatively fierce, especially reflected by the quality requirements. Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min has very strict and rigorous requirements for microelements. At present, although the quality of our products ranks top in domestic market, we still need to handle the control of several elements if we want to become the leader of the industry. Therefore in 2021, we will make efforts in product research and development and product quality improvement, and work hard to improve the testing capacity, production equipment and in-process quality respectively. Only by improving the competitiveness of products can we better cope with all the uncertainties in the future.

    Asian metal: Please briefly introduce the current market share of Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min and the future market prospect.

    Mr. Zhang: At present, the market share is still very small. On the one hand, the world is facing the bottleneck of power batteries, one is safety, the other is charging problem. In addition, due to the epidemic this year, the demand has not been increased. On the other hand, the market of Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min is basically concentrated in Japan. China and other countries mainly use manganese sulfate to produce new energy batteries. At present, only Japan has a large demand for Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min, so the market is still small. Regarding the future market of Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min, I believe that the power battery and Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min market will get better if new energy industry becomes good. The process of producing power battery with Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min in Japan needs 2-3 years of research cycle. and by now more than two years have passed. As soon as the application tests are passed, the market promotion will begin greatly. Therefore, I think the market of Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min will have an optimistic market outlook in the near future.

    Asian metal: What is your opinion on whether the manganese flake 99.7%min would be replaced by Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min in the future?

    Mr.Zhang: That's impossible to happen because the production cost for Se-free manganese flake 99.9%min is much higher than that of manganese flake 99.7%min. Steel mills will not purchase Se-free manganese 99.9%min to produce steel products due to the high production cost, unless the production of some special products require Se-free manganese 99.9%min as the raw material.

    Asian Metal: What is your overall plan for 2021?

    Mr. Zhang: Due to the market downturn caused by the epidemic in 2020, our profit is much lower than that of 2019. Therefore, we plan to take advantage of this period to carry out technical transformation and quality improvement. At present, there is no problem in our market promotion, and the inventory can still meet the market demand, so we will focus on technical transformation, so that we can face the next market competition.

    Asian Metal: Thanks for your sharing! Wish your company further success and promotion!

    Mr. Zhang: Thank you! I wish Asian Metal much better!
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