Element 25 locks in land for Louisiana manganese sulphate refinery 

Element 25 (ASX:E25) has secured a site for its planned high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate refinery in Louisiana, US, after entering into a binding term sheet with Veolia North America. 

Element 25, which has a $54.38 million market capitalisation, says completion of the term sheet is conditional on execution of several documents, as well as securing project financing. 

The definitive agreements to be executed no later than 30 June include completion of land purchase, sulphuric acid, road easement, and utilities and services, and temporary lease agreements. 

The board must also reach a final investment decision (FID) before 30 August 2024 or a later date agreed on by both parties. 

Element 25 expects to be granted an air permit in the coming weeks, having applied for one in the expectation the Veolia site would be the project location.

Managing Director Justin Brown says construction of the high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) facility in the US – the first of its kind there – requires a project site with the necessary services and utilities and access to sulphuric acid as a key reagent, to allow the project to proceed. 

“The Veolia site meets these requirements, and we are pleased to have signed this TS with Veolia as an important step forward in project execution,” he says

Securing a project site is key to Element 25’s agreements with General Motors (NYSE:GM), a partner in the project. 

General Motors has committed US$85 million ($129.2 million) in senior debt funding to the Louisiana Project. 

General Motors’ investment is in conjunction with an investment by Element 25’s second offtake and funding partner Stellantis (BIT:STLAM). 

Other financing activities, as well as detailed engineering are ongoing as the HPMSM team progresses the project closer to a FID and start of project delivery. 

Element 25’s civil engineering works to date have been based on the Veolia greenfields site in Burnside, Ascension Parish, which sits next to an existing sulphuric acid production and regeneration facility owned and operated by Veolia. 

Under the sulphuric acid supply agreement, Veolia will provide long-term sulphuric acid supply and agreed tariffs. 

Veolia North America CEO of Sustainable Energy Solutions Stu Thomas says the company is happy to contribute to the vehicle electrification value chain alongside Element 25, as part of its Green Up strategy. 

“This operation will be complementary to our Burnside facility, bringing positive economic impact to Ascension Parish, and also have a long-term societal benefit to the energy transition,” he says.

According to pure-play manganese company Black Canyon (ASX:BCA), high-purity manganese products are essential materials needed in the fast-growing electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery industries. 

High-purity manganese refers to a suite of highly refined finished products that are critical to most lithium-ion batteries. Demand primarily comes from Europe, China, and the US. 

Veolia North America works alongside organisations in the US and Canada to provide solutions in water, waste, and energy that promote sustainability and the circular economy. 

Element 25 currently holds the Butcherbird Manganese Project in Western Australia.  

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Element 25
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.