Defense Dept. Awards $20 Million to Boost Manganese Supply Chain

The Department of Defense announced a $20 million award to South32 via the Defense Production Act Investment (DPAI) Program. The award is for South32’s Hermosa Project, which will sustainably produce battery-grade manganese in Santa Cruz County, AZ. This award also supports the 2024 National Defense Industrial Strategy to continue and expand support for domestic production to increase supply chain resilience.

“This first DPA award for manganese production is a big step towards reducing import dependency throughout the battery material supply chain,” said Mr. Anthony Di Stasio, acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Resilience.

Manganese is an essential material used in batteries for DoD and civilian applications. DPA funds will enable the company to accelerate the Hermosa Project to deliver ore up to two years earlier than originally planned. Upon successful completion of this effort, South32 will be the first sustainable, domestic producer of battery-grade manganese.