Australian mining company proposes EV battery materials facility in Ascension Parish
Element 25, an Australian mining company, announced it is exploring plans to invest $480 million across two phases to build a high-purity manganese sulfate monohydrate production facility in Ascension Parish.
According to a Louisiana Economic Development news release, the new facility would be the first in the Western Hemisphere to manufacture HPMSM, a critical component in electric vehicle batteries.
If the facility is constructed, LED estimated the company expects to create up to 220 new direct jobs with average annual salaries of more than $90,000.
LED estimates the project would result in an additional 408 new indirect jobs, for approximately 628 new jobs in the Baton Rouge region.
“Louisiana’s emergence as a national leader in clean energy investment is no accident,” Gov. John Bel Edwards stated. “It is the result of our state’s commitment to climate action and an economic development strategy that emphasizes an all-of-the-above approach to energy. Companies like Element 25 see the strategic advantages of doing business in our state, from top-notch logistics to our skilled, dynamic workforce.”
Element 25 plans to import raw materials from its Butcherbird Mine in western Australia, while many of the remaining HPMSM inputs would be sourced from Louisiana companies. Element 25’s production process results in three reusable by-product streams that can be repurposed as fertilizer feedstocks, steel manufacturing and other industrial operations. As a result, the facility is able to minimize its solid and liquid wastes.
“Element 25 is excited to consider Louisiana in progressing our vision to build the first new HPMSM facility outside of China to supply the EV transition,” Element 25 Limited MD Justin Brown stated. “The attractive incentives offered by the state fast tracked approvals processes and the far-reaching impact of the Inflation Reduction Act, has moved Louisiana to the number one location for Element 25’s first HPMSM facility, with other developments expected to follow.”
The company has completed a feasibility study for prospective sites and expects to make a final decision on the location in the coming months. Construction on the new facility is anticipated to begin in the third quarter of 2023 with operations projected to start in 2026.
“Ascension Parish has an exceptional workforce, robust infrastructure and a thriving business community,” stated Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment. “We’re pleased that these compelling location attributes led Element 25 to consider Ascension for their first United States manufacturing plant. This project would provide a remarkable amount of local employment opportunities in a growing sector of the clean energy industry.”
The state of Louisiana has offered Element 25 a competitive incentives package to support a final decision in Louisiana. The offer includes the comprehensive workforce development solutions of LED FastStart and a $6 million performance-based grant for reimbursement of infrastructure expenditures, contingent upon the company meeting employment and payroll targets. The company is also expected to apply for the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.
“We are always looking to build on our success by creating new partnerships,” Ascension Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Kate MacArthur stated. “Combining process inputs from our well-established chemical and industrial gas manufacturers with Element 25’s technology will help create a sustainable operation to supply the rapidly growing electric vehicle supply chain in the United States while continuing to grow our local economy.”
"Element 25's interest in Louisiana's Capital Region is a testament to the area's booming transitional energy sector," stated Adam Knapp, Baton Rouge Area Chamber president and CEO. "We have seen over $28 billion in announced or planned transitional energy projects in the region since 2020, and as a leader in sustainable metal production, E25 expands on that recent growth. We are extending a huge congratulations to our partners in Ascension Parish for the fantastic work and vision to move this project closer to fruition.”
Element 25 is an ASX listed company operating the Butcherbird Manganese Project in Western Australia and developing high purity manganese sulfate monohydrate products for traditional and new energy markets. It aims to become an industry leading, world class, low-carbon battery materials manufacturer.