Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) said this week that it’s subsidiary ALCORE Limited has received a grant of A$7.5 million from the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative towards its A$16.4-million aluminium smelter bath recycling plant in Bell Bay, Tasmania.
ABx says the proposed plant will be the first site in the world to recycle aluminium smelter bath into a usable, commercially viable product. The plant is expected to have the capacity to convert 1,600 metric tons of aluminium smelter bath per year into hydrogen fluoride and other useful chemicals.
A portion of the hydrogen fluoride will be converted into aluminium fluoride, providing Australia with its first domestic source of the chemical essential to aluminium smelting and helping to insulate the country’s aluminium production sector from supply chain disruptions.
Alcore CEO Mark Cooksey said in a press release that the project would be a boon to several stakeholders in the Australian economy.
“We are eager to deliver our Tasmanian project as soon as possible, to increase the security of supply for Australian aluminium smelters and create highly skilled manufacturing jobs. The production of aluminium fluoride from aluminium smelter bath is an exemplary illustration of the circular economy.”
Alcore ultimately plans to scale up the plant to 15 times its initial nameplate capacity, allowing the site to process the entirety of the country’s aluminium smelter bath and provide over 80 percent of Australia’s requirement of 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.