Coffey Geotechnics Ltd., a Tetra Tech Inc. company ("Tetra Tech"), completed and accepted the design of a process flowsheet.
The Engineering Firm will use the process flowsheet to design a demonstration plant ("Demo Plant") capable of manufacturing high-purity manganese sulfate monohydrate ("HPMSM") for testing by possible off-takers. The Demo Plant is scheduled to be constructed in 2022.
In January 2021, the Company hired Tetra Tech to build the process flowsheet for directly producing HPMSM from Giyani's manganese oxide ore as part of the K.Hill Project's feasibility study ("FS") and for use in the Demo Plant's concept design. Tetra Tech produced the process flowsheet and presented it to the Company and Engineering Firm after supervising the metallurgical test work program and development.
The Engineering Firm has verified acceptance of the process flowsheet as the foundation for engineering the Demo Plant, which is expected to generate about 600kg per day of HPMSM crystals used in the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries ("LiB") cathodes. The Company has already placed an order for one crystallizer unit for the Demo Plant, and the Engineering Firm will begin building pending formal engagement.
The Demo Plant will deliver material for quality testing to prospective clients, with the first shipments scheduled for 2023. The final HPMSM product will have a target quality specification developed in consultation with some of the world's largest battery manufacturers and electric vehicle ("EV") manufacturers. As the Company moves closer to beginning production at the Demo Plant, it has maintained negotiations with several EV and LiB manufacturers and strategic worldwide marketing groups regarding future offtake and potential financing possibilities.
“It has taken meticulous work to get to this stage, and it is very pleasing to announce another significant milestone in our journey to becoming a responsible, sustainable and low-carbon producer of HPMSM, a critical material to the EV transition.
The flowsheet is the heart of our K.Hill Project, and the successful handover of the design by our specialist engineers means both the FS and the Demo Plant have taken another significant step towards completion. We have set ourselves the goal of producing HPMSM of the highest possible quality with the lowest possible carbon footprint, and this is reflected in the design we have developed, but we will continue to improve our process as we move toward the production phase.
Meanwhile, the list of LiB manufacturers and EV companies evaluating our project grows. The K.Hill Project is one of the very few new HPMSM projects in development globally and offers buyers on all continents the rare opportunity to secure their cathode material supply chain with a reliable source with the added advantage of diversifying from China; as the current dominant producer.”
Robin Birchall, CEO of the Company