MGX Minerals Inc has announced the engagement of global mining equipment supplier Metso Outotec for its British Columbia silicon project.
The OEM has been tasked with providing design, equipment and mechanical engineering for the processing of high-grade silica from the company’s wholly-owned Gibraltar silica deposit into silicon metal 3303# grade.
The primary piece of processing equipment related to the agreement is a submerged arc furnace (SAF). This electric arc furnace generates heat up to 1,600°C sufficient to melt the quartzite. The liquid metal is then tapped and poured into bricks and rough crushed into 3-4 in (76-102 mm) pieces for shipment.
Recent metallurgical testing on a 1 t sample from the company’s Gibraltar silica deposit, 95 km northeast of Cranbrook, British Columbia, has indicated that the material is chemically suitable as medium-quality feedstock for metallurgical-grade silicon.
MGX says the demand for silicon metal continues to grow and recent supply chain bottlenecks have limited overall supply, creating an opportunity for the distribution of silicon in Asia from North America.