High Purity Alumina Al2O3
Lava Blue High Purity Alumina from Kaolin
In 2017 while mining sapphire Lava Blue identified extensive kaolin clay beds with high grades of Al2O3 on its granted mining lease. By March 2018 Lava Blue achieved first High Purity Alumina at 99.99% purity (4N HPA) from our kaolin clays.
The chemical formula for Sapphire is Al2O3, so it is not surprising that the clay beds on Lava Blue’s extensive sapphire field are also a rich source of material suitable for HPA production. Lava Blue’s gem quality Sapphires are now a by-product of our work on commercial production of HPA.
During 2018 the Company developed two process pathways routinely producing HPA at >4N purity in the lab from the Lava Plains resource.
Lava Blue is now building a pilot plant and conducting feasibility studies into construction of a first commercial production train with a capacity of around 1,000 tonnes per annum of 4N HPA. The investment in the pilot plant is expected to significantly minimise CAPEX required to build the first commercial production train, and largely eliminate technical risk.
Lava Blue intends to develop further production trains and build total production capacity to at least 5,000 tonnes per annum.
Market conditions for HPA are improving strongly.
All of the conditions that produce the forecast demand growth out to 2024 will still be in place and likely be resulting in even faster demand growth after 2024.