Pure Minerals Limited’s (ASX:PM1) confidence in the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH Project) has received a significant boost with the completion of very a positive new Scoping Study.
The Scoping Study commissioned by its wholly owned subsidiary Queensland Pacific Metals Pty Ltd (QPM) has identified a string of highlights for the proposed production of High Purity Alumina (HPA) as a co-product at the TECH Project.
Pure’s Managing Director John Downie said a December 2019 Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) on the TECH Project identified the production of HPA as a key value-add opportunity for the TECH Project.
The key highlights of the Scoping Study included;
- Lower capex and opex compared with other HPA projects because the starting input is an intermediate aluminium product (aluminium hydroxide) rather than aluminous clay or refined aluminium metal;
- Confirms significant value-add opportunity for the TECH Project; and
- Increasing use of HPA in the production of ceramic-coated separators for separation of the anode and cathode in batteries.
The TECH Project is becoming a one-stop shop for battery manufacturers. Nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and HPA are key chemicals required by the battery industry and our potential ability to supply meaningful quantities of all these products will increase our appeal as a supplier to battery manufacturers,” Mr Downie said.
“The HPA market is evolving and the TECH Project has two key advantages against other potential suppliers.
“Firstly, by starting with an advanced intermediate product in the form of aluminium hydroxide, our capital and operating costs are significantly lower. Secondly, the TECH Project will be protected from any significant price volatility in the HPA market due to revenue derived from its primary product streams.”
Using a conventional processing flowsheet, the aluminium hydroxide co-product is able to be upgraded to produce a high value 4N HPA and testwork has demonstrated the capacity for the production of 99.99% (4N) purity HPA at the TECH Project.
The Scoping Study assessed the production of 4N HPA on a standalone basis, using the aluminium hydroxide as a feedstock. Per the December 2019 PFS, the TECH Project would produce 9,920tpa aluminium hydroxide.
Work is underway to upgrade the study to a Pre-Feasibility Study standard, improving accuracy to ±25%. These results will then be combined with the December 2019 TECH PFS to present the financial metrics of the overall project when producing HPA instead of aluminium hydroxide.