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.”