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K.Hill battery-grade manganese project, Botswana – update

Location map of the K. Hill manganese project

Photo by Giyani Metals Corporation

19th January 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
K.Hill battery-grade manganese project.

Location
Botswana.

Project Owner/s
Giyani Metals Corporation.

Project Description
K.Hill will be one of the biggest high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) projects in the world. HPMSM is a refined precursor material used in the production of cathode powders for lithium-ion batteries deployed in electric vehicles.

A preliminary economic assessment (PEA) published in July 2023 evaluates a base case scenario that considers a single production line with a feed capacity of 200 000 t/y to process manganese oxide material to produce HPMSM over a 57-year life-of-project (LoP). The LoP includes a 49-year life-of-mine plus 8 years of stockpile rehandling.

The PEA also evaluates an upside case, which assumes the construction of an additional production line from Year 5 of operations to increase total feed capacity to 400 000 t/y, reducing the LoP to 31 years.

The project includes a crushing facility, including a run-of-mine pad and stockpiles, a three-stage crushing plant and a crushed material bin. It also includes a processing area, including grinding, extraction, purification, fluoride polishing, crystallisation, product storage and handling; water treatment, reagent storage and tails handling; a sulphur dioxide plant; plant infrastructure and utilities, including steam and air plants; and low-voltage switch rooms.

A 4.5 MW solar plant covering 7.6 ha will be built 1.2 km west-north-west of the processing plant entrance gate. The large-scale demonstration plant that emulates the continuous process of the proposed full-scale K.Hill commercial plant is under construction in South Africa. The plant will validate the process flowsheet, mitigate commercial processing plant risk and facilitate off-take qualification.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has a pretax net present value, at an 8% discount rate, of $1.21-billion and an internal of return of 33%, with a payback period of two years.

Capital Expenditure
$282.64-million.

Planned Start/End Date
First commercial production is expected in the third quarter of 2025, with ramp-up expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2027.

Latest Developments
Giyani Metals has secured $16-million in financing from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to advance the project.

The IDC financing is the cornerstone of a $26-million funding package over the next 15 months to progress the K.Hill project to a final investment decision.

The remaining $10-million of funding is being secured from a strategic investor, which has signed a nonbinding term sheet that is in the final documentation stage.

“The demand for HPMSM . . . projects with robust economics has never been stronger as financial institutions begin to understand the enormous demand for this critical mineral as the world moves definitively towards electric vehicles,” Giyani president and CEO Danny Keating has said.

IDC COO Joanne Bate has said that K.Hill is an important step in the organisation’s strategy to help initiate the development of a battery minerals industry in Southern Africa.

The demonstration plant, which is being completed in Johannesburg, will be used to prepare Giyani for the commercial project construction stage.

The demonstration plant will produce up to 600 kg/d of dry HPMSM crystals for shipment to offtakers for product qualification and negotiation of sales contracts, starting in mid-2024.

The firm has indicated  that several tier-one offtakers have expressed interest in bringing K.Hill into their battery raw material supply chains and that several of them have visited Giyani’s facilities.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
SRK Consulting (feasibility study); Mintek (metallurgical testwork); and Tetra Tech (metallurgical testwork programme).

Contact Details for Project Information
Giyani Metals Corporation, email info@giyanimetals.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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