Canada-based mining company Elcora Advanced Materials Corporation has commenced operations on its 16 square-kilometre manganese mining concession in northern Morocco.

The previously extracted manganese piles onsite contain about 5,500 metric tonnes of ore, the company said in a statement.

“This allows Elcora to sort, process and sell manganese ore as of today to meet customers’ expectations,” the statement said, adding mining will continue as a surface deposit, saving the company time and money.

Manganese is a key component for battery-grade minerals and metals, which are essential for the global battery value chain.

“We are confident that we can produce high-quality battery metals and minerals that meet the growing demand from the electric vehicle and energy storage sectors,” said Troy Grant, President, and CEO of Elcora.

Earlier this month, the Moroccan government had granted a manganese exploitation license to Elcora’s wholly-owned subsidiary Ermazon.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)