ASX-listed aspiring manganese developer, Element 25, has ticked a major box at its proposed low-CAPEX Butcherbird project in the Pilbara, this week declaring the site has sufficient process water supply to support production.
The company says it has successfully pump tested a water bore within a shallow aquifer and determined the project has enough water for proposed production operations.
The Perth-based company said yields from the aquifer were higher than first thought and not as deep as previously assumed, potentially enabling water to be recovered from fewer, shallower bores, thereby possibly reducing capital and operating costs.
Confirmation of the availability of sufficient process water from shallow, high yield, low salinity aquifers at the Butcherbird project is an important derisking step for project development, which remains on time and on budget.
The groundwater is classified as “marginal potable”, which the company says makes it ideally suited to the proposed beneficiation processing method envisaged for the project.
Element 25 recently completed a pre-feasibility study on producing a Butcherbird manganese concentrate for export that pointed to a stunning CAPEX of only $14.5 million plus working capital of $9.2 million and an impressive average operating cash flow of about $32 million per annum for the first five years of mine life, which has been forecast at a whopping 42 years in total.
According to the company, the project economics and low capital hurdle will allow it to develop the project and start generating early cash flows in a relatively short timeframe. At this stage, commissioning and production start-up are slated to commence in the first half of calendar 2021.
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