- King River Resources is positioning itself to be a significant producer of 4N High Purity Alumina (HPA) in the rapidly growing clean energy and high-technology product markets.
- The Company has produced HPA at >4N (99.99%) purity from a readily available industrial chemical feedstock material.
- The Company has also kicked off the work related to the development of a mini-pilot plant, which would help in producing market samples and progressing the Definitive Feasibility Study.
King River Resources Limited (ASX: KRR) recently reported the production of High Purity Alumina (HPA) at >4N (99.99%) purity from an industrial chemical feedstock material available from domestic and international suppliers. Significantly, the encouraging results were reaffirmed by additional internal and external HPA purity assay checks, ensuring quality control and quality assurance.
The latest developments are a continuation of the consistent past progress achieved in the areas of HPA processing, purification, and metallurgical processes.
The Company intends to establish itself as a significant producer of 4N HPA in the swiftly expanding electric vehicle (EV) battery, light-emitting diode (LED), smartphone and television screen, and other high-tech product markets.
Source: KRR Update, 30 April 2021
King River Resources aspires to be a significant global producer of high-quality HPA outside of the US, Japan, China, and Europe. The use of HPA in the clean energy and high-technology sectors puts the Company in a sweet spot to leverage the anticipated demand surge over the coming years. Meanwhile, as it currently seems, the supply settings would be unable to keep pace with demand.
In light of the given context, let us look at the recent developments advanced by the Company to realise its HPA goals.
Alternative HPA Production Route to Improve Business Case
In late-2020, King River Resources announced a change in the HPA production pathway, with the production plan changed from a Kimberley-based mining operation to utilising the readily available aluminium chemical feedstocks derived from other industrial processes.
The change of plan resulted from metallurgical testwork and engineering costings as part of the Speewah prefeasibility study (PFS), which outlined a lower risk and faster path towards producing HPA. Significantly, the new plan does away with the prior requisites such as associated mining, processing, and logistical infrastructure setup at Speewah.
The HPA operation is likely to be based at an industrial site in Kwinana rather than at Speewah in the Kimberley of Western Australia.
The Company considers that the recent shift will aid in the PFS completion while also fast-tracking HPA production and improving the business case. Kwinana’s infrastructure, presence of industrial land areas, and a skilled workforce make it an ideal spot for the HPA development endeavours.
Work Directed Towards Generating Market Samples
King River Resources has labelled its HPA refining process as the ARC HPA process route, to highlight the aluminium chemical feedstock, the utilisation of only recrystallisation steps in purification, and final calcination.
The Company has also kicked off the work related to developing a mini-pilot plant, which would assist in large-scale ARC HPA process works demonstration for the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) as well as produce market samples.
With the current focus on enhancing the precursor product to simplify the final calcination stage, the Company is progressing its metallurgical HPA testwork for further refining the process. Capex and Opex estimates are pending some final modifications of the HPA washing circuit from Como Engineers, as per the latest updates.
Vanadium and Titanium Extraction Focus at Speewah
Besides the HPA development undertakings, the Company has also remained committed to undertaking testwork to extract high purity vanadium and titanium products from the Speewah vanadium deposit. These would be suitable as intermediate products for battery and master alloy applications.
Metallurgical HPA testwork is set to pick up steam as the Company gears towards further improving the precursor product to simplify the final calcination stage.
KRR stock was trading at AUD 0.031 on 19 May (AEST 2:48 PM), up more than 3%.