AK Evans and Element 25 in manganese haulage link


Butcherbird Project seen as emerging player in EV battery supply chain

AK Evans and Element 25 in manganese haulage link
Image from the project

 

AK Evans is partnering with mining company Element 25 (E25) on an ore haulage project in Port Hedland.

The construction, equipment and bulk haulage firm will transport manganese concentrate from Element 25’s Butcherbird Manganese Project to Utah Point.

Stage 1 processing will produce a nominal 365 kilotonnes of manganese concentrate over a mine life of about 40 years, before a proposed expansion in later stages.

Haulage started on June 8, and the remaining 27Kt for the first shipment is scheduled to for the last week of this month.

Element 25 notes manganese is emerging as an increasingly important ingredient for electric vehicle batteries "with potential supply constraints for nickel and cobalt forcing battery manufacturers to look to high manganese cathodes to produce the vast amount of cathode material required by the EV industry in coming years".


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"The team has bowled over yet another key milestone on our journey to fast-track the development of the project," E25 managing director Justin Brown says.

"The successful commissioning and ramp up of this first stage of development provides a fantastic foundation from which to grow this business both by expanding concentrate production as part of our Stage 2 expansion plans but also by developing the processing infrastructure to produce battery-grade Zero Carbon Manganese products for the Li-Ion batteries which will power the electrification of the global vehicle fleet."

Earlier, E25 signed a letter of intent with the Port Hedland-founded AK Evans, which partners with Kurtarra, a 100 per cent Indigenous-owned earthmoving and services company.

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The Letter of Intent covers the initial transport arrangements, with the parties in the process of finalising a long-term commercial arrangement for the introduction of new quad road trains for later in the year.

E25 adds that its project team will turn its focus to the next stages of the multi-stage development strategy of the project, including a Stage 2 expansion of the concentrate business, followed by a Stage 3 development to "convert the concentrate material into high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) for electric vehicle (EV) batteries to power the global transition away from fossil fuel powered mobility".

 

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