Element 25 Ltd (ASX: E25) shares are sliding lower on Wednesday. At the time of writing, the Element 25 share price is trading 1.78% lower at $2.21. This comes despite the mineral exploration and mining company announcing another milestone development for its Butcherbird manganese project.
Let's take a look at the company's latest news.
Element 25 progresses multi-stage strategy
In today's statement, Element 25 advised that AK Evans Group Australia is currently transporting the first manganese concentrate shipment from the Butcherbird manganese project to Port Hedland, Western Australia.
The Butcherbird project is a wholly-owned open pit mining development in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Manganese is emerging as an increasingly important ingredient for EV batteries. This project is believed to contain the largest onshore manganese resource in the country.
The trucks loaded the first manganese concentrate and left on 8 June for loading onto the ship. Around 27 kilotonnes (kt) or 27,000 tonnes of material will make up the entire haulage over the coming days.
Element 25 expects the ship to be fully loaded by the last week of June, ready for departure.
In addition, Element 25's project team will now turn its attention to ramping up operations for a Stage 2 expansion. This follows the commissioning of the Stage 1 processing plant to produce 365 kt of manganese concentrate over a 40-year mine life.
A pre-feasibility study, completed in May 2020, highlighted significant growth beyond the initial Stage 1 production volumes. Current JORC estimates are that the project will produce 263 million tonnes of manganese ore.
Element 25 managing director, Justin Brown commented:
The team has bowled over yet another key milestone on our journey to fast-track the development of the Project. 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.
Element 25 share price summary
Over the past year, the Element 25 share price has jumped by around 480%, with year-to-date performance seeing it rise by 46%. It reached an all-time high of $2.90 in late March before investors took profits off the table.
Element 25 has a market capitalisation of roughly $328 million, with more than 148 million shares on its registry.