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King River Resources’ Kwinana HPA project on fast track with production of 5N purity precursor

Summary

  • King River Resources has produced 5N (≥99.999%) purity precursor compound by the ARC HPA process from an industrial aluminium chemical compound feedstock. 
  • The precursor is the intermediate compound used to produce HPA at ≥4N (99.99%) purity. 
  • The Company intends to become a significant global producer of 4N HPA, a crystalline white powder which is almost pure aluminium oxide (Al2O3). 
  • KRR has kickstarted work concerning its mini-pilot plant development to produce market samples and demonstrate the ARC HPA process works at a larger scale for the DFS. 

In a significant update, King River Resources Limited (ASX:KRR) has kicked its high purity alumina (HPA) development efforts up a notch with the production of 5N (≥99.999%) purity precursor.

The 5N purity precursor is an intermediate compound produced by the purification process that further undergoes calcination to produce HPA at ≥4N (99.99%) purity.

The 5N purity precursor was produced using the ARC HPA process from an industrial aluminium chemical compound feedstock. The Company’s ARC HPA process flowsheet uses conventional crystallisation purification and calcination technologies and unit components, along with readily sourced reagents.  

Source: KRR Website

The latest development aligns well with the Company’s plan to become a 4N HPA producer, as indicated in the recently released Kwinana HPA prefeasibility study. The Company’s wholly owned HPA project is planned to be sited in the Kwinana industrial area, which is near Perth in Western Australia.

HPA is an essential ingredient in the production of light emitting diodes and lithium-ion battery separators, which find application in the clean energy and high technology sectors.

FOR DETAILED DISCUSSION: Milestone reached! King River Resources’ Kwinana HPA PFS confirms technical and economic viability

Let us look at the detailed testwork involved in producing the 5N purity precursor and associated developments, fast-tracking the Company’s HPA production plans. 

Multiple samples produced and assayed

Established analytical service provider Source Certain International (SCI) has been engaged in producing a number of batches of high purity 5N precursor. SCI has assayed these batches using the ICP-MS and ICP-AES methods, with up to five duplicate analyses completed on each batch for improving confidence in the results.

ALSO READ: King River Resources (ASX:KRR) hits a key milestone with production of high-purity titanium dioxide

While three (batches 8-10) were initially produced for the PFS testwork, SCI has now produced three more batches (11-13). 

To calculate the 5N purity result, the process involved adding all the assayed element impurities that reported above the detection limit then subtracting this result from 100%.   

The main contaminants found in the precursor included potassium (K), sodium (Na), and silicon (Si), and other elements <1ppm or below the detection limits.

Variability in the results has resulted from the differences in the test sample and the analytical precision. 

ALSO READ: HPA PFS operational highlights paint rosy outlook for King River Resources (ASX:KRR)

Definitive feasibility study (DFS) update

King River is undertaking metallurgical testwork for further refining the ARC HPA process for the definitive feasibility study (DFS). The current focus is to further improve the precursor product for simplifying the final calcination stage.

Mini-Pilot plant work advancing well

The Company has kicked off work on a mini-pilot plant development project, which would demonstrate the ARC HPA process works at a larger scale for the DFS and produce market samples.

The mass balances and process flowsheet have been used to scale the mini-pilot plant. Moreover, enquiries and purchase orders are underway with vessel vendors. The calcination stage of the process uses the 1500°C rotary tube furnace, which has been delivered and is currently being tested. 

KRR stock was trading at AU$0.029 on 27 July 2021 (AEST 10:46 AM), up more than 7% from its last closing price.

ALSO READ: King River Resources (ASX:KRR) going from strength to strength with solid HPA project economics

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