ASX-listed Element 25 says pre-commissioning activities are under way at the mine site of its brand new, world class Butcherbird manganese project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia where first ore is due to hit the haul road in just a couple of weeks from now. Electrical systems and instrument loops are being checked ahead of hook-up to its own power station later this week.
ASX-listed Element 25 says pre-commissioning activities are under way at its brand new Butcherbird manganese project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia where first ore is due to hit the haul road in just a couple of weeks from now.
Electrical systems and instrument loops are already being checked ahead of the installation and “power-up” scheduling of its own power station, expected around the end of this week.
Element 25 said first ore processing is still on track for the second half of March after the company elected to go straight from its Pre-feasibility study to digging dirt.
With a mammoth JORC resource of 263Mt of manganese ore, literally sitting at the surface, the Justin Brown-led Element 25 is tantalising close to realising its dream of feeding the electric vehicle battery market with high purity manganese when the mine expansion is completed.
Interestingly, it is only ten months since Element 25 tabled the first version of its pre-feasibility study on Butcherbird which sits about 130 kilometres south of Newman and straddles both the Great Northern Highway and the Goldfields gas pipeline.
Element 25 said it will integrate renewable energy into its mine grid in the near future to help it achieve its zero-carbon manganese target.
The current stage one mining and beneficiation project development heralds the first milestone of a multi-staged strategy involving a possible expansion of Butcherbird to produce a high purity manganese sulphate product for lithium batteries.
According to Element 25, manganese has emerged as an increasingly important ingredient in electric vehicle batteries as potential supply constraints loom for nickel and cobalt, prompting battery manufacturers to look at manganese for battery cathode manufacturing.
The Perth-based, mid-tier mine developer delivered a mouth-watering update to its PFS late last year which Element 25 said produced outstanding economics for a ridiculously low initial capital investment of just A$17m.
That study predicted an annual operating cash flow of $39.6 million per annum before tax for the stage one development and a staggeringly low anticipated working capital requirement of just $3.2 million.
In order to lock in Butcherbird’s bankability, Element 25 has hooked an offtake partner to hoover up the full quota of manganese ore expected to be dug out each year under a binding, take-or-pay, five-year contract with OM Materials.
OM Materials is a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Singapore-based integrated manganese and silicon group, OM Holdings.
Butcherbird’s proved and probable reserves currently stand at 50.55 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 10.3 per cent manganese for 5.22 million tonnes of contained manganese, representing only about 20 per cent of the global mineral resource on an ore tonnage basis.
Element 25 also said the project can be scaled up by a factor of two or three within 12 months of initial commissioning.
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