Giyani Metals Corp, developer of the K.Hill battery-grade manganese project in Botswana announced that it has signed a design-build contract with specialist South African-based hydrometallurgical engineering firm Met63 (Pty) Ltd for the construction of a demonstration plant (Demo Plant).
As a specialist hydrometallurgical engineering and consulting company, Met63 has been engaged to construct and commission the Demo Plant in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Demo Plant will be built according to the process flowsheet developed by Coffey Geotechnics Ltd., a Tetra Tech company and completed and accepted by Met63.
Additionally, the Demo Plant will produce high-purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) samples that will be sent for testing by lithium-ion battery manufacturers and automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and
Construction of the Demo Plant currently anticipated to be completed by mid-2023 with first HPMSM product samples expected to be available for shipment in H2 2023.
The Demo Plant project has the following key objectives:
*To demonstrate that Giyani’s HPMSM product specifications can be achieved based on the process flowsheet developed by Tetra Tech, and completed and accepted by Met63 earlier this year, for the K.Hill Battery Manganese Project;
*To provide HPMSM samples to potential buyers for their supply chain testing and product qualification;
*To de-risk the commercial plant development by using the Demo Plant for optimization of the ongoing process engineering work; and
*To use the Demo Plant as a training facility.
The Contract covers the engineering, construction and commissioning of the Demo Plant, on an open book and cost-reimbursable basis. The capital expenditure of approximately USD9.2 million, plus incentives for Met63 based on delivery of the Demo Plant on time, within budget and on specification, will be funded from the Company’s existing cash resources.
Met63 has a team that has extensive experience in designing hydrometallurgical circuits and specializes in advanced modular process plants for battery-grade metals.The Demo Plant is designed for a continuous process, so that HPMSM crystals meeting the stringent product specifications set by potential off-takers can be produced in a steady state operation.
To support the continuous process, the Demo Plant will be equipped with a sophisticated instrumentation and control system that also provides the flexibility to use the Demo Plant for de-risking the commercial plant development and as a training facility. The Demo Plant can produce up to 600kg of dry HPMSM crystals per day depending on feedstock characteristics.
Met63 and the Company have selected a construction site in Johannesburg where the Demo Plant will be commissioned and operated before expected relocation to Botswana. Completion of the construction of the Demo Plant is currently anticipated by mid-2023 with commissioning, ramp-up and first HPMSM product samples expected to be available for shipment in H2 2023.
This timeline has been made possible by the early procurement of the longest lead items, in particular the two crystallizers and associated accessories that were ordered in March and June 2022, which are currently scheduled for delivery in Q1 2023, and make up the entire crystallization unit of the Demo Plant that will allow for it to operate on a continuous process.
The Company intends to dispatch HPMSM product to potential off-takers in the European, North American and Asian markets, a number of whom have already requested samples. Giyani’s HPMSM product will then be tested to verify quality and performance characteristics prior to the conclusion of any potential off-take contracts.
Giyani Chief Executive Officer Robin Birchall, commented, “The Demo Plant is a cornerstone of our strategy for full commercial development. Its objectives are to validate our process flowsheet, de-risk commercial development of K.Hill and facilitate off-take contracts with battery and OEM customers. Signing this contract with Met63, an experienced specialist hydrometallurgical engineering firm with a proven track record in engineering and construction of battery-grade metal projects, is another step towards production and first shipments of HPMSM in the second half of 2023.
The support of our shareholders has allowed it to fund the construction and commissioning of a larger Demo Plant than originally envisaged, with a capacity of up to 600kg per day, despite inflationary pressures and cost increases across the mining industry. An increasing number of OEMs have highlighted the potential of manganese-rich cathodes and so our enlarged facility will be able to cater for increased demand for HPMSM samples.
The low carbon process makes us an ideal partner for the supply of this critical battery material. With several key catalysts on the horizon, including the release our feasibility study on K.Hill, Giyani is entering a very exciting phase of development.”