The new manganese resource estimate is the result of comprehensive drilling and sampling completed in late 2018.
In its recently released Q1 2019 activities report, manganese-focused Element 25 (ASX:E25) increased the resource estimate for its Butcherbird project by 34 percent.
The new estimate is the result of comprehensive drilling and sampling completed in late 2018. A prefeasibility study (PFS) is underway at the high-purity manganese site, which is located in Australia.
Future output of manganese sulfate from Butcherbird will likely be used in the lithium-ion battery sector, a space that relies on the quality high-purity manganese identified by Element 25.
The manganese from Butcherbird has been assessed with 99.5 percent purity, ideal for the battery sector as well as for electrolytic manganese metal (EMM) used as an alloy.
“Following the publication of the scoping study and the positive demand forecast from Metal Bulletin for high purity manganese products, which indicated robust growth in demand and pricing over the forecast period, the company initiated a PFS to assess in more detail the pathway to commercialization for this world class manganese resource,” notes the Q1 report.
In addition to increasing the resource estimate during the first three months of 2019, Element also received AU$490,000 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The capital has been earmarked to assist with increasing renewable energy integration in the EMM production process.
“The company is pleased to partner with ARENA on this exciting aspect of work at Butcherbird,” Element 25 Executive Director Justin Brown said in a press release.
“Whilst we already have a strong base case using a gas-only power solution, this grant funding will add further value to the world class Butcherbird high purity manganese project by helping it to become a long-term producer of potentially the world’s cleanest, greenest high purity manganese products at bottom quartile costs powered with renewable energy.”
Element 25 was also able to raise capital for Butcherbird through the sale of its Green Dam project, which brought in AU$700,000.
Moving forward, the Australian manganese company will continue with its mine planning activities, which include open pit optimization, mine design and scheduling.
Shares of Element 25 were down 5.56 percent on Tuesday (April 30), trading at AU$0.017.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.