Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) updated the market on Wednesday as to progress on the ALCORE Limited project, noting that it has achieved the project’s third milestone on the road to commercial production of aluminium fluoride (AlF3).
ABx says the project has begun chemical refining of bauxite ore into aluminium fluoride with the removal of silicon and iron oxides by using a crystallizer-sill, leaving a clear solution. The step was achieved at the ALCORE Research Centre in New South Wales, according to the firm.
ALCORE’s next step will be the composition of the proper blend of bauxite and reagents for the mini-production plant. ABx recently completed construction of the plant, which was a four-month endeavor.
In a related press release, ABx CEO, Ian Levy elaborated upon the project’s current status and next steps.
“The ALCORE Research Centre has created a laboratory with the highest standards of safety, equipment and technology. At the same time, the ALCORE team designed and constructed the ALCORE mini-production plant which will be our 4th milestone over the next few weeks. The mini-production plant will supply test samples to our three prospective customers.”
“I have never seen a more powerful reagent for dissolving rocks – our 4mm sized bauxite was reduced to iron-dust and a clear liquor within a few minutes,” he continued. “ALCORE’s powerful new bauxite refining technology can lead to Australia’s first production of AlF3 products to provide security of supply for Australasian aluminium smelters. ALCORE’s production of Corethane hydrocarbon can change the energy supply and fuel security outlook for eastern Australia.”
ABx continues to dialog with stakeholders throughout the aluminium value chain regarding commercial opportunities for aluminium fluoride. The firm projects an increasing demand for the chemical, which is used in aluminium smelting and production of lithium-ion batteries. ABx is also shopping Corethane, which is a pure hydrocarbon powder that is produced alongside aluminium fluoride.
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.