This program was undertaken as part of Butcherbird's ongoing pre-feasibility study and was also designed to demonstrate the scalability of the processing flowsheet developed in conjunction with the CSIRO.
The PFS, which aims to confirm the commercial potential of the project, is scheduled for completion in mid-2019.
A total of 13 diamond holes were completed for 340.1 metres and these were located to provide data across the first 20 years of the mine plan, focusing particularly on the initial five years.
Three holes were drilled for geotechnical assessment of the planned wind farm outside the mining area and the remaining holes were drilled to inform the pit design process, as well as to provide samples for detailed metallurgical test work.
To date, the company has completed a positive scoping study to develop the deposit for production of high-purity manganese sulphate for lithium-ion battery cathodes, as well as high-purity electrolytic manganese metal for use in certain specialty steels.
The company has produced high purity electrolytic manganese metal grading 99.95% from Butcherbird Manganese core samples.
Butcherbird's flow sheet efficiently extracts manganese (about 95% extraction in 30 minutes) into solution to produce high-purity manganese including battery-grade manganese sulphate and high-purity electrolytic manganese metal.
Element 25 executive director Justin Brown said at the time: “These results are outstanding, to achieve such a high purity on our first attempt to scale-up the flow sheet is remarkable and bodes well for the project's future.”
The work was completed by Simulus Laboratories under the supervision of PPM global senior metallurgist Tim Porter.
Element 25 is also intending to integrate significant renewable energy into the power solution to minimise the carbon intensity of the project as well as further reducing energy costs.
- Jessica Cummins