E25 manganese ships amid buoyant prices

Element 25

Element 25’s Butcherbird manganese project in Western Australia.

A shipment comprising 35,002 tonnes of manganese concentrate from the Element 25 (E25)-owned Butcherbird Manganese Project has departed Port Hedland in Western Australia.

The project is a world-class manganese resource with current JORC resources of more than 263 million tonnes of manganese ore.

The contract price received was higher than for previous shipments due to the buoyant prevailing manganese markets, which helped to offset the higher than forecast diesel and shipping costs which remain above long-term trends due to ongoing geopolitical and COVID related issues around the world.

The company reported that feedback on the handling properties of E25 concentrate ore remains positive from logistics providers to consumers.

E25 managing director Justin Brown said the marketing team would continue to look for opportunities to place additional conventional and non-conventional material into the current market whilst strong markets conditions prevail.

“The strategy around the development of the Butcherbird Project has consistently included an expansion of current production to take advantage of the large resource, which currently has a mine-life of 42 years whilst utilising only 20 per cent of the identified resources,” he said.

The project team continues to focus on delivering sustained nameplate production, including a Stage 2 expansion of the concentrate business in parallel with the Stage 3 development of a facility to convert the concentrate material for electric vehicle EV batteries.

“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,” Brown said.

“The project is ideally placed to feed this potential demand, with advanced flowsheet development work undertaken in 2019 and 2020 confirming a simple leach process for E25 ores which, when combined with offsets, will target the world’s first zero-carbon manganese for EV cathode manufacture.”

About Ray Chan

Editor of industrial titles and mastheads with Prime Creative Media. Publications include Rail Express and Australian Mining (web content).

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.