Over the past three years Australian Bauxite has been assisting ROIL’s commercial and technological development.
ROIL has granted it exclusive global rights for the refining of bauxite to produce aluminium fluoride and coproduct oxides of aluminium, silicon, iron and titanium from the bauxite.
Another by-product is corethane gas from the refining of coal to provide electrical power, heating and cooling for the bauxite refining plant so it has energy security.
Australian Bauxite will also get exclusive global marketing rights for all aluminium fluoride and related coproducts produced by other ROIL technology projects unrelated to Australian Bauxite in Australasia and Asia.
Should the HoA turn to a full agreement, Australian Bauxite will issue ROIL 1.4 million Australian Bauxite shares.
ROIL owns Berkeley Process Technologies, which owns the patent for the Ores to Elements process, also known as the Core process, that involves the refining of various ore types using a combination of fluorine acids and related thermal energy process steps.
Australian Bauxite helped ROIL finalise and lodge the patent application so the Alcore project could proceed.
The Alcore project will apply the Core process to refine bauxite ore containing aluminium, iron, silica and titanium for the low energy, low emissions production of aluminium fluoride and coproducts including very pure forms of silica, iron oxide and titanium oxide.
Alcore is planned to be developed in two stages.
The first stage involves development of an engineering evaluation plant that is expected to cost between $12.5 million and $16 million.
Stage two is the construction of a 50,000 tonne per annum production plant, which is expected to cost $50 million.
The Alcore process uses three reagents. One is H2SiF6, also known as FSA, which is used to fluoridate water supplies. The second is hydrofluoric acid and the third is water.
The process involves grinding the bauxite and minor coal and adding the reagents.
All minerals are dissolved by the reagents, forming metal fluorides.
These fluoride species are sequentially precipitated as metal fluorides or pure oxide to release fluorine chemicals for recycling of the reagents.
Designing and costing of the evaluation plant is underway and final results of that are expected by the end of February.
Marketing samples for offtake contracts are expected to be ready between September and November and a bankable feasibility study for the 50,000tpa plant is due in the first quarter of 2019.
Should all go to plan, the production plant will be commissioned by the end of 2019.
According to Australian Bauxite, the Alcore project will transform its bauxite, which is worth US$50 a tonne, into a suite of products worth more than US$800 per tonne of bauxite.