Element 25 Limited (ASX:E25) has announced that it has successfully produced manganese sulphate solution from run-of-mine concentrate product at its 100%-owned Butcherbird Manganese Project in Western Australia.
The solution has been produced after successfully leaching run-of-mine concentrate product from the project’s stage 1 beneficiation plant, and represents the first step in producing battery-grade manganese sulphate (HPMSM), used in the manufacture of heavy-duty lithium-ion batteries.
The company reports that previous testwork using material from Butcherbird has seen high extraction rates of up to 97% within a 60 minute window.
Testing has also taken place with alternative reagents which offer potential cost and environmental advantages.
E25 expects that an upcoming pre-feasibility study will display commercial potential for converting concentrate product to battery-grade HPMSM.
“The resumption of the flowsheet optimisation test programme is a critical component of finalising the battery grade manganese sulphate Pre-Feasibility Study which is scheduled for completion in 2021”
Butcherbird Manganese Project – a world-class resource
The Butcherbird Manganese Project, located 580km from Port Hedland in Western Australia, is Australia’s largest onshore manganese resource, with a JORC ore resource of > 263Mt. Resources come from seven deposits of near surface manganese oxide.
The project is well serviced by infrastructure including the nearby Goldfields Gas Pipeline and sealed Great Northern Highway.
A pre-feasibility study was completed in 2020, investigating the development of manganese concentrate for export at moderate capital cost. Based on the favourable economics delivered by the study, E25 was able to achieve first production within 12 months of publication.
In addition to the above, the company continues to investigate the production of battery-grade materials including HPMSM and High Purity Electrolytic Manganese Metal (HPEMM).
E25 Managing Director Justin Brown said: “The resumption of the flowsheet optimisation test programme is a critical component of finalising the battery grade manganese sulphate Pre-Feasibility Study which is scheduled for completion in 2021. This work also importantly confirms the suitability of the concentrate produced from the Stage 1 beneficiation circuit for conversion to HPMSM and the market can now expect regular updates from this work stream.”