Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) said yesterday it’s subsidiary Alcore Limited has entered into an agreement with Japanese global trading company Sojitz Corporation to investigate potential partnership opportunities in the production and marketing of aluminium fluoride (AlF3).
The two firms are attempting to position themselves to take advantage of a burgeoning market for AlF3, which is only at present sold by suppliers in the People’s Republic of China. In addition to uses in increasing efficiency in aluminium smelters by dropping electrical power consumption, AlF3 is also a key ingredient to the next generation of batteries, including those using lithium ions for power storage.
ABx is seeking to partner with Sojitz, which is a Japanese general trading firm. Sojitz includes about 400 subsidiaries and affiliates both in Japan and abroad.
Alcore’s chief executive officer Mark Cooksey noted the two companies’ existing relationship in a press release announcing the agreement.
“Sojitz has been assisting Alcore for 3 years and is one of several aluminium industry corporations that are vitally interested in the Alcore processes and business plans. We welcome this third-party endorsement and we expect there will be further endorsements in the coming months as we start to standardise our product specifications and processing strategies. Sojitz can provide an immediate international capability and could assist in the supply chain for Alcore production of AlF3 which is a strategically important mineral product for aluminium smelting and battery production.”
Alcore is currently planning its initial production of AlF3 for sale to regional aluminium smelters. The firm expects to produce 10 thousand metric tons per annum of AlF3 initially, eventually ramping up to a production total of 50 thousand metric tons per annum.
Based in Sydney, ABx conducts operations in Tasmania, Queensland, and New South Wales. The firm boasts combined JORC resources of 124 million metric tons in twenty-two tenements covering almost two thousand square kilometers in Eastern Australia. Its Binjour tenement in Queensland is considered by the company to be its flagship project.