Element 25 flies as it extends manganese mineralisation at Butcherbird Project, WA

Element 25 (ASX:E25) reports that assay data has confirmed multiple extensions to known manganese mineralisation at its Butcherbird Project in central Western Australia.

The company’s share price was up more than 8% to $0.605 as of 11.30am AEST.

An RC drilling program comprising 34 holes for 904m was completed in the first quarter of 2022 targeting areas where there has been no historical drilling.

The program was designed to test for extensions to the known manganese resource areas, with the drilling primarily targeting areas to the west and south of the Ilgarari Ridge deposit.

Manganese mineralisation was logged multiple drillholes and assays have now confirmed commercially significant grades and widths of manganese in multiple holes.

Manganese mineralisation was logged multiple drillholes and assays have now confirmed commercially significant grades

Further drilling is now being planned to infill and better define mineralisation extensions and evaluate further extensions to mineralised trends at Butcherbird, which is situated in the Bangemall Basin adjacent to the eastern unconformable boundary of the Savory Basin, in central WA.

Several holes were drilled to sterilise potential infrastructure locations as part of the planning for the proposed expanded production at Butcherbird, however a number these holes also intersected significant manganese mineralisation forcing a re-evaluation of the proposed layout.

Element 25 has undertaken numerous drilling programs in the region prior to this program and identified extensive supergene manganese mineralisation which is currently being commercially exploited within mining lease M52/1074 to produce a high silica manganese oxide concentrate for export to international customers.

Economic manganese mineralisation at Butcherbird typically comprises interacted bands of siliceous manganese and waste clay material. This habit lends itself to mechanical upgrading via crushing, washing and ore-sorting in line with current mining and processing operations.

There is nothing visually different about the newly discovered mineralisation in this program.

E25’s Butcherbird Manganese Project is a ‘world-class’ manganese resource with current JORC resources of more than 263Mt of manganese ore.

In May 2020, the company completed a prefeasibility study (PFS) with respect to developing the deposit to produce manganese concentrate for export to generate early cashflow with a modest capital requirement.

Stage one of the project development plan is complete and E25 has commenced shipping ore to offtake partners.

The PFS also highlighted the project’s potential for significant growth beyond the initial stage one production volumes (the studies examined the potential for a 2x and 3x expansion to stage one within 12 months of initial commissioning), and the company expects to expedite the expansion of the project in 2H FY2022.

Manganese is emerging as an increasingly important ingredient for EV batteries, with potential supply constraints for nickel and cobalt forcing battery manufacturers to look to high manganese cathodes to produce the vast amount of cathode material required by the EV industry in coming years.

Images: Element 25 Limited
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.