Element 25 secures site for EV battery component refinery in Ascension Parish

A proposed electric vehicle battery component refinery is one step closer to becoming a reality in Ascension Parish.

Element 25 Ltd., an Australian mining company, on Wednesday announced it has entered into a binding term sheet with Veolia North America to secure a 35-acre site in Burnside for its planned high-purity manganese sulfate monohydrate refinery. The site is adjacent to Veolia’s existing sulfuric acid production and regeneration facility.

Element 25 is expected to invest $480 million across two phases to build the refinery, according to Louisiana Economic Development.

The state has offered Element 25 a $57.1 million incentives package to support a final investment decision in Louisiana. If the refinery is constructed, the company expects to create up to 220 direct jobs with average annual salaries of more than $90,000.

In addition to a land purchase agreement, the aforementioned term sheet also includes a road easement agreement, a temporary lease agreement, a utilities and services agreement and a sulfuric acid supply agreement. The Veolia facility would supply sulfuric acid to the Element 25 refinery via pipeline at agreed contract rates over a 20-year term.

According to a statement from Element 25, the company expects to be granted an air permit by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality “in the coming weeks.”

The definitive agreements in the term sheet will need to be executed no later than June 30, and Element 25 expects to secure project financing and reach a final investment decision no later than August 30.

The refinery would become the first in the Western Hemisphere to produce HPMSM, a critical raw material for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries. Element 25 has already signed funding and offtake agreements with two major automakers, General Motors and Stellantis.

If all goes according to plan, LED says the refinery will be operational at some point in 2026.