Element 25 weighs US manganese facility

12th April 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The feasibility study into the proposed battery grade high-purity manganese sulphate (HPMSM) facility, in Louisiana, has confirmed the viability of the project, ASX-listed Element 25 says.

The company on Wednesday reported that the project would require an initial capital investment of $289-million to support a one-train project producing 65 000 t/y HPMSM, which could be scaled to 130 000 t/y with the development of a second train.

The HPMSM plant will also produce reusable material in the form of a fertiliser feedstock, a ferro-silicon (FeSi) smelter feedstock suitable for use in steel production processes and a gypsum by-product for industrial use.

The project is estimated to have a pre-tax net present value of $1.66-billion and an internal rate of return of 29%, with yearly cashflows expected to reach $155-million. Operating costs have been estimated at $1 188/t, with the feasibility study estimating yearly average steady-state earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $178-million at full production.

The feasibility study prioritises the processing of Element 25’s existing production from its Butcherbird manganese mine, in Western Australia. Current reserves of over 40 years are sufficient to supply the HPMSM project over the study period which is currently modelled at 28 years, or 25 years of train 2 production.

Element 25 told shareholders that the US-based location for the proposed project meant that the company was located close to fast growing electric vehicle markets, and that the company could benefit from financial incentives from local, state and federal governments, including the US Inflation Reduction Act.

“The study confirms the feasibility of producing HPMSM at a Louisiana location for sale to local and international offtake partners with an environmental impact that is significantly lower than incumbent producers to supply the rapidly growing electric vehicle supply chain in the US. The project is uniquely positioned to benefit from its highly favourable location in Louisiana, with exceptional infrastructure, a deep local talent pool, low-cost energy, and proximity to local markets for the repurposing of by-product industrial materials to maximise circular resource use,” the company said.

In addition to the Louisiana base case location, the feasibility study has also investigated the capital and operating costs for an alternative location in Sarawak, Malaysia where extensive investigations have been undertaken previously and where Element 25 is in advanced discussions with the federal and state Malaysian government bodies and potential offtake and finance partners to construct an HPMSM facility within the Samalaju Industrial Park.

The development of a facility at this location is subject to further work and attracting financing support. This alternative is not included in the financial model for the study which focussed on the construction and operation of the Louisiana plant, however, it is being considered as a potential site for a future plant.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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