Firebird Metals Limited announced that its Chinese-based R&D centre fit-out is completed which includes the commencement of pilot plant operations, with samples of high-purity manganese sulphate (HP MSM) and manganese tetroxide (Mn3O4) to be produced for potential customers and offtake parties.
The R&D centre will be used to complete testing on several other potential manganese-rich precursor cathode active (pCAM) materials.
Its launch comes after the recent completion of a scoping study which envisages CAPEX of ~US$82.3M for a plant with 72kpy of battery grade manganese sulphate equivalent capacity consisting of 50ktpy HP MSM and 10ktpy of Mn3O4. A PFS is reportedly at an advanced stage and on track for completion in Q1 2024.
While a large number of Western projects are targeting ex-China production of HP MSM to feed into Western battery supply chains, Firebird is bucking the trend with its “LMFP Battery Strategy”, through which it aims to become a low-cost manganese sulphate producer selling into the established China market.
Source: project blue