Accelerate has exercised its option to acquire the manganese and iron ore rights for the Braeside West and Ripon Hills East projects in the Pilbara – and managing director Yaxi Zhan has high hopes for the discovery. 

“To be in the East Pilbara, in the high-grade manganese province, with the right geology is a critical foundation to have a successful project,” she said.

“When we acquired the project we inherited quite a lot of data too – which shortens the discovery process.

“Both the Braeside West and Ripon Hills East projects will be our priority for the next six to 12 months.

“We also recently raised $3 million and together with $1 million in the bank we’re fully funded for the next phase of exploration.”

Critical mineral for battery and steel production

Manganese is a critical mineral for battery and steel production and with forecast demand shortfalls, Accelerate (ASX:AX8) has timed its acquisition well.

Zhan said the demand is being driven by the global economic recovery, particularly in China as the steel factory for the global economy.

“The CSIRO published the 2021 critical mineral report which identified about 12 minerals and manganese is one and so is silica sands and kaolin,” she said.

“While we are focused on our manganese assets, we also have the Tambellup kaolin project which is married up with Vytas, which holds the Vytas silica sands project.

“They have a very specialised team, they want to take the company to IPO and Accelerate shareholders will have substantial holding within Vytas of about 33% – so that gives our shareholders very good exposure to another green energy, silica, battery metals with the company set to produce high purity aluminium (HPA), high purity quartz and high purity silicone.

“It’s great for us because we don’t need to take up management time, or develop separate skill sets and we get that exposure to the green battery metal space, while we focus on our manganese developments.”

Pic: Manganese demand is expected to grow for use in EV batteries and steel making

Exploration underway to generate targets

The company plans to start airborne high-resolution photography and Lidar survey to support target generation.

It will also continue to capture historical data and merge it with new high quality airborne imagery and digital terrain models to generate new targets for sampling and drilling.

“Getting the data up to date is quite critical,” Zhan said.

“The mapping will look at outcroppings of manganese, which are exposed to the surface, so the data we acquire will save time and money on tasks we can complete in the office rather than sending people to the remote area.

“After that we’ll be able to identify targets and go forward with drilling to get a JORC resource.”

Management connections open doors

Zhan said that a strong technical and management team has been key to the company’s success so far.

“I started my career at Sinosteel, I have a background in iron and practical experience in a bulk commodity,” she said.

“And part of the success of the company is downstream marketing, and the majority of the end users are in China.

“I think that’s also our point of difference because I speak the language, I understand the culture, and I can open doors with those end users.”





This article was developed in collaboration with Accelerate Resources Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.