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Element 25 on Monday confirmed that it was currently in discussions with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Sarawak state government to potentially build its planned high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) plant in Sarawak.

Sarawak is one of the potential sites being considered for the construction of the first HPMSM plant, and a feasibility study is currently under way, which includes localisation studies to assess the suitability of the region.

A scoping study completed earlier this year confirmed the economic benefits of an HPMSM plant that would process manganese concentrate from Element 25’s Butcherbird operation, in Western Australia.

The scoping study estimated a modest start-up capital requirement of $150-million and $24-million working capital, producing at a base case of 50 000 t/y HPMSM. The scoping study also considered a 100 000 t/y output and a 150 000 t/y output, with an additional $86-million in capital cost requirements for each subsequent capacity increase.

“Element 25 is moving rapidly towards achieving its goal of becoming a world-class, low-carbon battery materials manufacturer to supply the world’s growing need for sustainable battery materials,” said MD Justin Brown.

Brown noted that discussions were also ongoing with potential offtake partners with respect to an European Union- or US-based location for either the first of subsequent conversion facility builds.