Tag Archives: Australian Bauxite

Alcore’s CORE plans move forward with Clough engineering appointment

Alcore Ltd has executed a contract with major Australia engineering firm, Clough, to help with the design and construction of the first Alcore production plant.

Clough, which will be represented by Clough Projects Australia Pty on the project, has been investigating the CORE technology that will be used by Alcore for several years and is ready for a smooth entry into the Alcore project, the company said.

Alcore says the engineering firm’s in-house skills and expertise provides the full spectrum of capabilities needed, including: concept evaluation & regulatory approvals; project feasibility studies; design, specialised process engineering, electrical controls & instrumentation; and construction, process optimisation and debottlenecking.

Alcore is a 90%-owned subsidiary of Australian Bauxite, which has the global exclusive rights to the aluminium-related portion of CORE Technology (patent application). After six months of test work, Alcore has committed to the best strategy for the first commercial plant called “Refine & Recycle”, whereby by-products from aluminium smelters will be converted into aluminium fluoride to be sold back to the smelters as an essential electrolyte for smelting, it said.

“This strategy has highest profit and fastest growth potential worldwide.”

Plants can be replicated adjacent to aluminium smelters throughout the western world that seek higher environmental credits for recycling by-products, reducing emissions, lowering costs and reducing their dependence on imported aluminium fluoride, according to Alcore.

Alcore can refine two smelter by-products, one with high aluminium (~85% Al) and the second with high fluorine (~55% F), so that all aluminium fluoride components are freely available, it says.

Phillip Hall, Alcore’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Clough is an ideal engineer for Alcore’s transition from the lab research stage to its first commercial plant. Clough’s long-term association with this technology augers well for good teamwork.

“Alcore is now fully-resourced on technology, having also appointed Dr Mark Cooksey, a senior CSIRO chemical engineer with over 22 years’ experience in the aluminium smelting industry.”

Alcore plans to build its first plant at Bell Bay, in Tasmania, Australia.

ABx’s Bald Hill bauxite hits the road

Australian Bauxite (ABx) has begun mining and screening operations at its Bald Hill operation near Campbell Town, northern Tasmania, Australia, as it prepares for the next cargo of seaborne cement-grade bauxite to its customer’s specifications.

The company said it has worked with the customer in question over the past four months to achieve the optimum product specifications. Back in December, it said it had secured an order for a 30,000 t shipment of seaborne cement-grade product, which was due to be loaded in early March.

In the meantime, ABx has awarded a contract for mining, processing and blending at Bald Hill to Hazell Bros contractors. The company has also commenced contract negotiations for transporting the product to the Bell Bay port.

The company said: “ABx has long-standing relationships with experienced contractors that are well known for meeting the strict tonnage-specification targets and complying with community and landholder requirements.”

At the port, Abx has contracted QUBE Logistics at Bell Bay for the stevedoring services and stockpiling arrangements, in conjunction with TasPorts. Monson Shipping has provided Shipping Agents services and Briar Maritime have provided independent ship surveys to date.

In addition to the cement-grade produce ABx is producing, it has also had success producing and selling fertiliser-grade material.

Loading of this material at its clean loadout facility recommenced on January 29, with sales expected to continue throughout the year. These sales are growing as the fertiliser product achieves wider market approval, ABx said.

“The customer and ABx worked together on developing this product which ABx believes has potential for other high-value markets,” the company said, adding that it produces an activated granule with potential to adsorb chemicals.

ABx subsidiary receives global technology rights for ALCORE process

ALCORE Ltd, a subsidiary of Australian Bauxite Ltd, has been given the licence rights to use the ALCORE raw bauxite processing technology worldwide.

The licence will allow the company to build multiple plants globally to meet growing demand for aluminium fluoride and the associated co-products that come with refining raw bauxite using the technology.

ALCORE is of the belief its refining technology can add significant value ($600-$1,000/t) to low-grade bauxite, turning it into an aluminium fluoride suitable for both smelters and, potentially, lithium-ion battery makers.

The process, which turns 1 t of low grade bauxite (36% Al2O3, 25% Fe2O3, 10% SiO2, 5% TiO2, 23% H2O) into 0.4-0.6 t of aluminium fluoride, involves:

  • Crushing and grinding before reagents are added;
  • The dissolving of all minerals by reagents, forming metal fluorides;
  • Sequential precipitation of fluoride species as metal-fluorides or pure oxides to release fluorine chemicals for recycling of reagents;
  • The production of saleable pure forms of oxides and fluorides.

As the company celebrates this licence win, site construction works for its stage one ALCORE project have already commenced at the pilot plant site in Berkeley Vale, New South Wales, Australia.

The stage-one project is designed to produce aluminium fluoride test samples, according to Australian Bauxite.

Ian Levy, Australian Bauxite Managing Director, said: “ALCORE technology also produces several valuable co-products including silica fume for the cement industry and corethane pure hydrocarbons for energy and fuel security. Upside potential includes production of pure aluminium fluoride for lithium-ion batteries, iron oxide pigments, titanium oxide pigments. Further potential exists for developing ultra-pure products such as high purity alumina for the manufacture of scratch-resistant sapphire glass for phones and computer screens.”