The program has been awarded funding under the seventh round of the Cooperative Research Centres Project grant scheme provided by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Focus on pilot-scale validation
This test program will focus on pilot-scale validation of the leaching and purification process for manganese ores at Butcherbird to produce Electrolytic Manganese Metal (EMM) and Manganese Sulphate Monohydrate (HPMSM), used in lithium-ion batteries.
E25 managing director Justin Brown said: “The grant announced today will provide important funding to accelerate the development of the world-class Butcherbird High Purity Manganese Project.
“Innovative new flowsheet”
“The project will use an innovative new flowsheet coupled with high penetration renewable energy to lead the way in the downstream processing of ores and the electrowinning of low carbon intensity metals in Australia,” he said.
E25’s process is a cleaner, lower carbon intensity flowsheet which will reduce environmental impacts, and present a process pathway for utilisation of the large manganese resource at Butcherbird.
Important case study
It will provide an important case study for the onshore processing of critical minerals in Australia.
Butcherbird’s high purity deposit is world-class with current JORC resources in excess of 263 million tonnes of manganese ore.
E25 has completed a positive scoping study with respect to developing the deposit to produce high purity manganese sulphate for lithium-ion battery cathodes as well as Electrolytic Manganese Metal for use in certain specialty steels.
A pre-feasibility study is being completed and is expected to further confirm the commercial potential of the project.