Butcherbird Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Manganese
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
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Mine Life... Lock
SnapshotThe Butcherbird Manganese Mine is the largest onshore manganese deposit in Western Australia. The operation is producing and exporting high-quality manganese concentrate currently used in the manufacture of manganese alloys. Plans are now underway to expand production up to 1 million tonnes per annum by optimising its engineering processes and installing additional plant and equipment.

Element 25 will use manganese ore from Butcherbird in its high purity manganese sulphate monohydrate (HPMSM) strategy.

Element 25 plans to integrate renewable energy into Butcherbird’s power solution.


Element 25 Ltd. (operator) 100 % Indirect
Element 25 Limited owns and operates the Butcherbird Manganese Project.



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Deposit type

  • Sedimentary


The Butcherbird Project area is situated in the Bangemall Basin adjacent to the eastern unconformable boundary of the Savory Basin, in central Western Australia. The Bangemall Basin contains three major stratigraphic units which are outlined below from oldest to youngest:
• The Backdoor Formation consists primarily of shales, mudstone and minor siltstones, outcropping in the southern, western and northern extents of the project area;
• The Calyie Sandstone is comprised of well bedded quartzite sandstone, occurring to the north of the project area at the contact between the Ilgarari Formation and Calyie Sandstone;
• The Ilgarari Formation consists of grey/white shales which also exhibit red/brown weathering, mudstone, miner siltstone layers, and dolerite sills. The Ilgarari Formation is part of the Collier Subgroup and outcrops across the majority of the Bangemall Basin, containing the target manganiferous shales.

Structurally the Ilgarari Formation is generally flat, or gently folded with alternating synforms and antiforms with an east-west dominant axial trend. There are three primary north-east trending structures within the extents of the project area:
• The Neds Gap Fault is a sinistral strike-slip fault that delineates the Ilgarari basin western boundary;
• The Illgararie Mine shear zone consists of a set of sub–parallel shears with a predominant south western dip, which plays host to copper mineralisation;
• The Butcherbird Mine shear zone is situated along the south-eastern margin of the Illgararie area and shares similar characteristics to the Illgararie Mine shear zone.

There are five major lithologic horizons located within the Butcherbird Project area capped by a thin botryoidal duricrust. The lithological sequence within the project area is outlined below:
• Duricrust Unit: an exposed botryoidal duricrust positioned on top of the manganese mineralisation which ranges in thickness from 0.1 metres to 2 metres;
• Hard Cap Rock Unit: occurs intermittently across the project area, particularly away from the Yanneri ridgeline. The cap rock is comprised predominantly of iron-rich calcretes and soils with minor occurrences of manganiferous bands demonstrating botryoidal and cemented textures;
• Manganiferous Shale Unit: is the primary shale unit contains a supergene enriched manganiferous horizon with an average thickness of 10m to 25m. The manganese layers are predominantly 1cm to 1m thick which are confined to distinct bands of cryptomelane within geothitic friable clays. There are also very minor interbedded red/brown shales intermixed within the clay bands. Botryoidal textures are a common characteristic observed within the manganese mineralisation zone, in particular the clay rich zones;
• Upper Shale Unit: is a reddish/brown oxidised shale horizon which exhibits minor manganese along small fractures, fissures, and joints. This unit is predominantly 30 metres to 40 metres below the topographic surface and also contains clay minerals and hematite staining;
• Dolerite Unit: is a medium-grained weathered unit interbedded between the two basal shales which exhibits relatively parallel bedding that have undergone gentle folding;
• Lower Shale Unit: capped by the weathered dolerite unit. The upper boundary of the lower shale unit has been used as the basement surface for this resource estimate

The extent of the Butcherbird Project area encompassing the four deposits (Coodamudgie, Mundawindi, Richies, and Yanneri) extends from approximately 769500E to 778800E, and 729700N to 7299500N.

The average thickness of mineralisation is approximately 5 metres with an average width of 18 metres.

The Yanneri deposit is a stratiform sedimentary manganese deposit hosted within the Ilgarari Formation which is mostly flat lying with some occurrence of gentle folding.

The manganese mineralisation occurs within three primary ore zones;
• High grade manganiferous cap;
• Supergene enriched manganiferous laterite;
• Basal shale.



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Mining Methods


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All production numbers are expressed as concentrate.

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Heavy Mobile Equipment


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Mine Management

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