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Stellantis signs binding agreement with Element 25 for manganese sulphate supply for EV batteries; sourced in Australia, processed in US

Stellantis and Australia-based Element 25 signed a binding agreement for Element 25 to supply battery-grade, high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) to Stellantis for use in electric vehicle (EV) battery packs. The five-year agreement calls for shipments to begin in 2026, a total volume of 45 kilotons, and options to extend the supply term and volumes.

Performance of the parties under the binding term sheet is conditioned on satisfactory completion of technical due diligence and a feasibility study.

Element 25 will source the material from its Butcherbird project in Western Australia and plans to construct a processing facility in the United States. Stellantis will make an equity investment in Element 25.

The Butcherbird Manganese Deposit is Australia’s largest onshore manganese resource comprising large tonnages of near surface manganese oxide ore in seven deposits. The Project also offers some excellent infrastructure advantages with a gas pipeline and main bitumen highway passing directly adjacent to and through the mineralized envelope.

The geology and hence mining at Butcherbird are simple, according to the company. The ore zone at Yanneri Ridge is at surface, dips shallowly to the north resulting in a very low strip ratio estimated at 0.2:1. The uniform grade distribution means that the entire ore zone is mined for processing, with no need for grade control or selectivity.

2001 Butcherbird Geology Cross Section

The current 2019 JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate completed by IHC Robbins following a major infill drilling programin 2018 and stands at 263 million tonnes at 10% Mn.

In December 2022, E25 announced that it had appointed Worley Group to lead the engineering studies for localization for an HPMSM processing site in the US. Ernst & Young will advise on potential federal, state and local funding support for a US-based HPMSM Facility. Sarawak Malaysia remains a favorable location for a second E25 HPMSM facility subject to approval of federal government incentives.

The processing circuit proposed for the HPMSM facility is based around taking E25 manganese ores and converting them via a proprietary hydrometallurgical process developed by Element 25.

The comminution circuit will take ROM Manganese ores from Butcherbird and reduce them to P90 < 2mm. This circuit will consist of a small cone crusher and rolls crusher and small drum plant capable of processing approximately 10 tph. Following reduction to less than 2mm, the manganese ore will be leached in a multi-stage tank leach circuit.

Once leached the PLS will be purified by addition of various reagents wherein the base metal contaminants within the PLS will drop out of suspension and will be filtered from the polished leach solution. The polished leach solution will be crystallized in a multi-stage crystallization process to produce HPMSM.

Process residues will be either re-purposed in nearby industrial applications or disposed of in an appropriate facility. Liquids will be neutralised by addition of limestone and disposed into approved waste-water systems.

The agreement with Element 25 reinforces Stellantis’ electrification strategy, which includes securing substantial supplies of raw materials for battery electric vehicle (BEV) production. Manganese is a key stabilizing element in the cathode of EV batteries.

As part of its Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis plans to reach 100% of passenger car BEV sales mix in Europe and 50% passenger car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in the United States by 2030. Stellantis plans to become carbon net-zero by 2038, with a 50% reduction by 2030.

Stellantis plans to invest more than €30 billion through 2025 in electrification and software development, while targeting to continue to be 30 percent more efficient than the industry with respect to total Capex and R&D spend versus revenues.


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