Two production bores will be completed enabling pump tests to be conducted to confirm the potential of the selected area to provide sufficient process water for the project's beneficiation plant.
A water exploration drilling program completed earlier this year identified a prospective groundwater supply area to the southeast of the mining lease area with two aquifers - one shallow in near-surface calcretes and the other a deep aquifer in palaeo-channel sands.
It is expected the aquifers will yield sufficient process water for the current development plans at the project.
The current program will also allow production pump tests to be undertaken to confirm the aquifer capacities.
This is a critical program to de-risk the project and allow the delivery team to meet the aggressive development timeline that has been set for first production of manganese concentrate from Butcherbird.
Access agreement signed
Earlier this week the company signed an access agreement with the remaining stakeholder in relation to the granting of mining lease application M52/1074 at the project.
The agreement is the final milestone required for the mining lease application to be granted, which will pave the way for the submission of mining approval documentation to the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.