11/02/2021 - 16:19

Last hurdle falls as Element 25 prepares for manganese production

11/02/2021 - 16:19

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Element 25 has bounded over the final hurdle in its bid to become an international manganese concentrate producer, this week locking down a vital groundwater allocation from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation at its Butcherbird Project in Western Australia’s southern Pilbara region. The allocation was the final domino to fall in the approvals process and the company says the project is now shovel ready.

Element 25 has bounded over the final hurdle in its bid to become an international manganese concentrate producer, this week locking down a vital groundwater allocation from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation at its Butcherbird Project in Western Australia’s southern Pilbara region. The allocation was the final domino to fall in the approvals process and the company says the project is now shovel ready

The approval will allow Element 25 to extract one Gigalitre of groundwater per annum, tying a nice bow around the complete package of Government approvals now secured at the project.

Element 25 Managing Director, Justin Brown said: “It is fantastic to be able to confirm that the final permitting hurdle has been met and that the project is now on a clear runway to completion ..”

With construction of the processing plant already underway, the company says it is on target to commission it and the supporting offices, roads, civil engineering and the newly approved borefield, by the end of the current quarter.

The Butcherbird groundwater allocation is a key element for the running of the project’s processing plant at the project that is expected to churn out approximately 365,000 tonnes per annum of high-quality manganese concentrate for export via the Port Hedland port.

The company has already signed a take or pay offtake agreement with OM Holdings Limited in relation to the first five years of forecast manganese ore production.

A May 2020 pre-feasibility study highlighted the project’s capacity to generate early cashflows with just a modest capital requirement of under $17 million for stage one of the development.

The PFS also identified Butcherbird as a long-life mining opportunity with the potential for further 2X and 3X expansions, based around current resource of in excess of 263 million tonnes of manganese ore with significant exploration upside.

Mainly used in the production of a variety of important alloys and to deoxidise and desulphurise steel, manganese is also attracting international market attention for its use in the manufacture of Lithium-ion batteries.

Whilst the manganese market has been volatile in recent times, analysts are forecasting a steady price rise over the next five years on the back of strong growth in Chinese steel production and increasing interest from the battery markets.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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