- King River is advancing well with HPA development initiatives to tap growing opportunities in the EV and LED markets.
- Following the PFS release, the Company’s next study milestone is the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study.
- The testwork programmes and studies are aimed at making a final decision on a Stage 1, Type 1 Precursor-only operation, with the HPA production deferred to Stage 2.
- The recent developments indicate the Company’s potential to be a significant world producer of 4N HPA.
Australian explorer King River Resources Limited (ASX:KRR) has been committed to a series of undertakings aimed at producing 4N (99.99%) High Purity Alumina (HPA).
Notably, the HPA market is witnessing positive momentum, driven by growth in the electric vehicle (EV) and LED industries, where high purity alumina is used as a precursor compound.
Globally, high-quality 4N HPA suppliers are limited and demand for this critical material is growing at a robust pace.
The Company intends to tap rapidly developing LED, electric vehicle battery, smartphone and television screen, and other associated high-tech product markets.
The Company is focused on becoming a significant world producer of high-value HPA outside of the US, Japan, China, and Europe.
Keen to capitalise on the growing market potential, King River has expedited HPA developments, completing several objectives.
The recent developments follow hot on the heels of excellent prefeasibility (PFS) results, released in the June quarter. The study outcomes highlighted the economic and technical viability of the Company’s 100%-owned HPA project to be located in the Kwinana industrial area near Perth, Western Australia.
With the completion of the PFS, the subsequent study milestone would be the completion of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
The key work areas for the DFS include:
- Developing the technical design of the processing plant and the associated plant and site infrastructure.
- Addressing several areas of metallurgy, pilot studies, and engineering work.
- Focusing on environmental and social assessments.
With this backdrop, let us explore the several developments being advanced for the DFS.
Production of 5N Precursor
Specialist consultant Source Certain International, engaged by King River Resources, has successfully produced 5N (≥99.999%) purity precursor compound using the ARC HPA process from an industrial aluminium chemical compound feedstock.
Notably, the precursor represents the intermediate compound critical to producing HPA at ≥4N (99.99%) purity.
Source: KRR Update, dated 8 September 2021
Metallurgical testwork is in progress to further refine the ARC HPA process for the DFS, aimed at precursor product improvement to simplify the final calcination stage.
Large-scale process demonstration for the DFS
Work has progressed on developing a mini-pilot plant to demonstrate the workability of the ARC HPA process at a larger scale for the DFS. The mini-pilot plant would also be used for producing batch marketing samples.
Advancing the initiatives, the compilation of mass, temperature, and timing measurements are being undertaken from scaled-up laboratory tests in a bid to modify design and address reagent and product handling issues.
King River has also engaged Como Engineers for rescoping a modular process design for an initial precursor-only refinery.
The Company intends to use the testwork programmes and studies to come to a decision about Stage 1, Type 1 precursor-only operation, while the HPA production deferred to Stage 2 or other exciting new opportunities.
In essence, KRR is strategically pivoting its DFS strategy towards producing high-value Al precursor compounds that have applications in manufacturing Li-ion battery cathodes, an essential component of the fast-growing electric battery vehicle market.
KRR stock was trading at AU$0.027 midday on 23 September 2021. The Company has a market capitalisation of AU$41.94 million.