Element 25 has shipped its first load of manganese from the Butcherbird project in Western Australia, delivering 27,000 tonnes to offtake partner OM Materials.
The first shipment occurred just 14 months after the project’s pre-feasibility study was conducted. It departed from the Utah Point facility at Port Hedland en route to either China or Malaysia, in line with an offtake agreement from May 2021.
E25 managing director Justin Brown said the shipment was a big point of pride for the company.
“After thousands of man hours, multiple layers of permitting, engineering drawings, contracts, financing activities and a healthy dose of passion and toil, stage one of our project has come to life,” Brown said.
E25 aims to produce the world’s first zero-carbon manganese for electric vehicle cathode manufacturing and the high-purity (30-35 per cent) concentrate product should allow for this.
The first shipment came as part of the stage one ramp up of the processing plant, which will result in 365,000 tonnes of manganese concentrate over a 40-year mine life.
Brown emphasised that this shipment was only the beginning of a bigger picture for the mid-tier miner.
“We fully intend for this to be the first step in a multi-stage growth journey for this world-class manganese project,” Brown said.
“With the expansion of concentrate production as part of our stage-two plans to be followed by developing the processing infrastructure to produce battery grade zero-carbon manganese products for the li-ion batteries which will power the electrification of the global vehicle fleet.”
The Butcherbird project has a resource of more than 263 million tonnes of manganese ore, with an average grade of 10 per cent manganese, 20.8 per cent silicon, 11.4 per cent iron, and 5.9 per cent aluminium.