- Altech recently announced the discovery of halloysite at its Kerrigan kaolin deposit.
- The Company is progressing on its investigation of the size of the deposit of halloysite.
- ATC is committed to securing finance for its HPA plant at Johor.
Halloysite, a trending mineral belonging to the same subgroup as kaolinite, has gained the interests of researchers and investors. The mineral has been recognised as critical for specialised green technologies and emerging technologies such as lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) and Cancer therapeutics.
Versatile mineral: Key to emerging technologies
Thanks to its tubular microstructure and amazing biocompatibility, the mineral could be the key to major green technologies and advanced biomedical applications in drug delivery, bioimaging, cancer and stem cells isolation. Furthermore, halloysites are added to polymer nanocomposites, which can be used to manufacture thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers.
Halloysite is already extensively used to manufacture high-grade porcelain and ceramics. Mechanical and chemical properties improve the strength of porcelain. Flame retardancy properties have attracted new research in the industry to produce better and cost-effective technology for insulation, and safety from heat and fire is required.
Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX:ATC|FRA:A3Y) recently announced the discovery of halloysite at the 100%-owned Kerrigan kaolin deposit. The discovery is substantial as its opens new avenues for the Kerrigan Kaolin project as halloysite is seen as a replacement for carbon nanotubes. Carbon nanotubes is used in the equipment for carbon capture. Halloysite presents a cost-effective replacement for carbon nanotubes.
Altech continues to evaluate the size of halloysite deposit
The presence of halloysite at the Kerrigan kaolin deposit on the exploration licence, E70/4718-I, underpins the overall economic potential of the deposit. The presence of halloysite was observed during the processing of drill samples and cores from the air-core drilling campaign of 2020.
Location of aircore drilling and XRD/SEM ample locations (Image source: Company update, 13 October 2021)
Altech has planned further test work on samples. The initial test work involved investigations by x-ray diffraction test and scanning under an electron microscope. Out of the six samples, one of them showed abundant tubular structures consistent with halloysite. For further examination, 31 more samples will be analysed.
Altech remains focused and committed to HPA plant in Malaysia
Altech focuses on developing a 4,500 tpa high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant in Johor, Malaysia. The processing plant will provide a cost-effective means to produce HPA, which will be used for coating technology in battery materials used by the EV industry. The company is also progressing on a preliminary feasibility study for a battery materials HPA coating plant in Germany.
The plan is to mine kaolin from its deposits in Australia and ship it to Malaysia for processing. The Company has established its research and development labs in Australia and Germany. The breakthrough in battery technology will improve the performance of lithium batteries to further boost the performance of EVs.
The presence of halloysite adds value to Altech’s kaolin deposit. Altech is engaged in test work to determine and confirm the significance of initial results, but at this stage of test work, the presence of halloysite does not imply any economic benefit. Altech will continue to focus on finalising finance for the high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant in Johor, Malaysia, and advancing on the preliminary feasibility study for the construction of a battery materials coating plant in Saxony, Germany.