Mitsui Mining & Smelting has planned to install production equipment at its Takehara Refinery in Hiroshima for manganese cathode material for lithium-ion (Li-on) batteries in cars.

Mitsui Kinzoku’s Takehara Refinery has been manufacturing manganese cathode material for electric tools and mobile phones at a rate of 80 tons per month.

This new production and supply capacity is to begin operating from fiscal 2012 in an entirely new building separate from the existing manganese cathode material plant.

An amount of JPY7bn (approximately $0.08bn) will be invested into the new refinery, which will have an annual production capacity of 12,000 tons.

Manganese cathode material is the compound of lithium and metal oxide including manganese and is used as cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.