Element 25 Ltd (ASX:E25) continues to fast-track the manganese concentrate export operation at Butcherbird Manganese Project in Western Australia on time and budget with key permitting applications lodged.
Several permit applications have been submitted to relevant government departments to start the approvals process, including Native Vegetation Clearing Permit application with the Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) and Water Abstraction Licence with Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).
The company has also lodged a Works Approval with DWER and has received approval from the Mains Road Department for mine access road design.
Butcherbird is a world-class manganese resource with current JORC resources in excess of 263 ,million tonnes of manganese ore.
Element 25 has recently completed a pre-feasibility study with respect to developing the deposit to produce manganese concentrate for export to generate early cashflow with a modest capital requirement.
Robust economics and a low capital hurdle of less than A$15 million will allow the company to develop the project in a relatively short timeframe.
Key permit applications
For the Native Vegetation Clearing Permit, the clearing provisions of the Environmental Protection Act require the clearing of native vegetation to be authorised by a clearing permit.
An application for this permit has been lodged with the DMIRS to allow for the removal of vegetation in key works areas.
The DWER, as Western Australia’s water resource management agency, has responsibility for assessment and decision making for licences and permits to extract water for the processing plant operations and E25's application is supported by detailed hydrogeological modelling of the proposed aquifer which was defined in the recent test bore pump test program.
Before a mining company can construct, install, alter or operate a plant, they must obtain a works approval and licence from the DWER, in accordance with the Environmental Protection Act 1986. This permit application has been lodged.
- Great Northern Highway access – Element 25 has now received approval for the proposed design of the access road where it intersects the Great Northern Highway. This approval was granted by Main Roads Western Australia;
- Mining proposal and mine closure plan – The Mining Proposal and Mine Closure Plan considers the environmental aspects of the mining operation and the rehabilitation activities at the conclusion of mining. This application is expected to be lodged with DMIRS imminently; and
- Project management plan - Under the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (WA) (MSI Act), the commencement of mining operations is not permitted until a project management plan (PMP) has been approved. This application is expected to be lodged with DMIRS imminently.
In addition, Element 25 recently identified equipment for integration into the beneficiation plant at the project through detailed engineering design work.
To meet the mine development timeline, the company has placed orders and paid deposits with several suppliers for items including ore sorters, vibrating screens, a motor control centre, log washer and crusher and dry screen.
This represents a key milestone in the project development strategy, which provides certainty on delivery schedules to match the planned start of operations in the first quarter of 2021.