The PFS is anticipated to provide a robust base case for commercialisation of the world-class project, which hosts a JORC-compliant resource in excess of 263 million tonnes of manganese ore.
The company intends to produce high purity manganese including manganese sulphate for lithium-ion batteries (HPMS) and Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM).
E25 is also assessing a hybrid wind and gas power solution aimed at driving down the cost of power and improving the carbon emissions profile of the project.
Preliminary mine planning based on the updated 2019 resource estimate has been completed, including open pit optimisation, mine design and mine scheduling.
This was used as the basis of obtaining contractor quotes for mining costs.
A second round of open pit optimisation, design and scheduling is planned at the end of the PFS, which will form the basis of a maiden ore reserve.
The final Native Title Agreement required for the grant of M52/1074 was signed during the quarter with the Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC and gives the company certainty on the development of the project.
Roskill Information Services has been engaged to provide the research and market analysis for the PFS, with numerous potential offtake parties for the EMM product including Japan, South Korea, the USA, Europe and South East Asia.
This also includes contact with well known battery and vehicle manufacturers with visits by interested parties planned for the next quarter.
Work programs planned for the remainder of 2019 include:
- Subterranean fauna assessment;
- Soils and landform assessment; and
- Tailings and mine waste characterisation.
These studies will be incorporated into the upcoming hydrological assessment programs.
The current information will provide input into the PFS/FS and is expected to provide information for the project approval process.
E25 has received results for an aircore drilling program completed in the June quarter targeting channel manganese within a well-defined paleochannel system within the exploration tenure footprint at Butcherbird.
The program, which was partly funded by the Western Australian State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme, identified several low-quality manganiferous zones, supported by anomalous assay values, but no economic channel manganese mineralisation was defined.