A total of 90 holes for 2,184m has been completed across Mn Area 1, Mn Area 2, Mn Area 3, and Mn Area 4, marking another positive step in subsurface exploration at Pantera’s Weelarrana project.

The company says assays are expected within six weeks, and once received, will be reviewed with further drilling planned down the track.

A total of 817 samples have been submitted for assay with the average hole depth across all four areas totalling 24m with depths ranging from 18m to 57m.

The program is designed to test high-grade outcropping manganese mineralisation at Mn Areas 2, 3, and 4, as well as infill and extend existing drilling at Mn Area 1.

Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE) CEO Matt Hansen said the company was thrilled to be exploring at Weelarrana, on the same manganiferous shales known to host economic mineralisation at E25’s Butcherbird and FRB’s Hill 616 projects.

Field work programs, including mapping, sampling, and drill planning for tenements E52/4046, E 52/4071 and E 52/4072 are next on Pantera’s agenda, in conjunction with heritage surveys which are scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2023.

The investment narrative for manganese is a little less developed than copper or nickel but with its inclusion on the EU critical minerals list, its time the mineral got a little more attention of its own.

Wait… what is manganese?

Manganese is one of the most common ores on Earth, something that has stirred investment in R&D to develop batteries with higher manganese contributions and lower levels of rare and expensive nickel and cobalt metal.

Since September 2020, no fewer than seven major automakers have committed themselves to manganese-based batteries – Stellantis, Ford, Volkswagen, Renault, Tesla, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The looming bottleneck in the manganese market exists between the mining of manganese ore and the production of high purity manganese sulphate monohydroxide (MSM) – a product currently, unsurprisingly, dominated by China.

CPM Group reports that in 2022, 98% of the world’s high purity manganese sulphate monohydroxide was produced in the Asian manufacturing powerhouse, which accounts for 92% of the world’s processing capacity for the product.




This article was developed in collaboration with Pantera Minerals, 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.