Butcherbird manganese project, Australia – update

Image of manganese ore

14th January 2022

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Butcherbird manganese project.

The project comprises eight known manganese mineral resources in an estimated 600 km2 of the southern Pilbara region, in Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
Manganese developer Element 25 (E25).

Project Description
The project has proven and probable ore reserves of 50.55-million tonnes at 10.3% manganese containing 5.22-million tonnes manganese (4.28-million tonnes recoverable manganese).

The May 2020 prefeasibility study (PFS) presented a compelling base case and expansion case economics. The base case assumes the production and sale of 312 000 t/y of medium-grade lump manganese concentrate grading 30% to 35% manganese.

The proposed 1.3-million-ton-a-year processing facility includes crushing, screening, scrubbing, sizing and ore sorting.

The project has a 42-year mine life.

The PFS also highlighted that the project has the potential for significant growth beyond the initial Stage 1 production volumes. The studies examined the potential for an expansion to Stage 1 within 12 months of initial commissioning. The company expects to expedite the expansion of the project once Stage 1 is fully operational.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
In the base case, the project has an estimated pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of A$441-million and an internal rate of return of 255%, with a payback of six months from the start of operations.

Capital Expenditure
The project has a low capital requirement of $14.5-million, plus $9.2-million in working capital.

Planned Start/End Date
The project construction and start of commissioning were completed within 11 months from the delivery of the prefeasibility published in May 2020.

Latest Developments
Element25 reported a new daily record production of 1 209 t at its Butcherbird manganese project on January 3, 2022. This was well above the targeted nameplate production of 1 000 t/d for the Stage 1 production plant.

Operations were restarted after logwasher repair and engineering modification works were completed in December.

The work undertaken during December had focused on the repair of the shaft failure, which was announced in November, and the implementation of a range of engineering improvements that had been planned before the plant failure.

“While it is premature to make firm forecasts on annual production volumes, it is highly encouraging to see this step-change in process plant performance after the implementation of the planned improvements,” Element25 MD Justin Brown has said.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Element 25, tel +61 8 6315 1400 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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