Tasmania’s bauxite miner is a step closer to selling high-value aluminium fluoride to Australiasian aluminium smelters.
Australian Bauxite Limited, which mines near Campbell Town and has other Tasmanian and mainland deposits, said subsidiary ALCORE had proven it could chemically refine the company’s bauxite and its components into aluminium fluoride and several valuable co-products.
“The ALCORE Research Centre has created a leading edge laboratory with the highest standards of safety, equipment and technology,” Australian Bauxite chief executive Ian Levy said.
“Exciting enhancements of the technology have already been achieved.”
The mini-production plant at the centre in New South Wales would supply test samples to Australian Bauxite’s three prospective aluminium-producing customers.
“ALCORE’s work can lead to Australia’s first production of aluminium fluoride to provide security of supply for Australasian aluminium smelters,” Mr Levy said.
“ALCORE’s production of corethane gas-substitute hydrocarbon can change the energy supply and fuel security outlook.
“Its short-term focus is on supplying a cleaner form of metallurgical redundants for reducing costs and emissions in manufacturing in eastern Australia.”
The company said ALCORE planned to convert low-grade bauxite worth $50 per tonne into a suite of valuable products worth more than $800 per tonne.
It said aluminium fluoride was an essential electrolyte in aluminium smelters and demand increased as smelter production and use in lithium-ion batteries increased.
Bell Bay, north of Launceston, has been mentioned as a potential site for an ALCORE production plant.
Mr Levy said Australian Bauxite was progressing its three “core” bauxite projects, in Tasmania, Queensland and New South Wales.
*Original article online at https://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/6403694/australian-bauxite-reports-progress-on-aluminium-fluoride/