ASX-listed Element25 (E25) has revealed that it is now moving to a definitive feasibility study for the high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) facility, which is likely to be finalised in the second half of 2022.
A scoping study into the HPMSM plant has confirmed the economic benefits of the proposed project, E25 also revealed.
The proposed project includes the construction of an HPMSM conversion plant as well as supporting administrative, packaging and laboratory facilities. The site will most likely be located at an industrial park, near a deep-sea, bulk cargo port and will most likely have established water, power and communications facilities.
E25 told shareholders that the company was investigating locations in South East Asia, and a final decision on the location of the plant was yet to be made.
The scoping study estimated a modest start-up capital requirement of $150-million and $24-million working capital, producing at a base case of 50 000 t/y HPMSM. The scoping study also considered a 100 000 t/y output and a 150 000 t/y output, with an additional $86-million in capital cost requirements for each subsequent capacity increase.
The base case scenario estimated a pre-tax net present value of $439-million and an internal rate of return of 40%, with the project life remaining unchanged at 20 years across all three production scenarios, using only 50% of the proposed Butcherbird Stage 1 production capacity.
E25 intends to source the manganese ores for the project from the company’s Butcherbird manganese project. The Butcherbird project was commissioned in April 2021 and has been operational since then delivering three shipments of manganese lump concentrate to customers up to December 2021.
At full production, the HPMSM project will consume concentrate volumes equivalent to 60% of the current Butcherbird manganese concentrate production. It is anticipated that the feed for the HPMSM project will, however, be sourced from expanded concentrate production from the Butcherbird project.
E25 is now moving to a definitive feasibility study for the HPMSM facility, which is likely to be finalised in the second half of 2022.