to Fund ALCORE Stage 1 Refining Bauxite into Aluminium Fluoride
ALCORE will also produce Corethane ultra-pure hydrocarbon that can substitute for natural gas, diesel, heating and industrial applications. ALCORE's progress is meeting the schedule announced to the ASX on 13th November & 11th December 2017.
- ABx Board of Directors has approved the incorporation of ALCORE Limited as a wholly-owned subsidiary to fund and manage the ALCORE Project, leading to the construction of an ALCORE Production Plant to produce 50,000 tonnes per year of Aluminium Fluoride (AlF3) and co-products
- ALCORE will be given rights to the ALCORE technology to covert raw bauxite worth approximately $50 per tonne into products worth more than $1,000 per tonne of bauxite. Preliminary in-house and independent engineering estimates of the operating cost is of the order of $400 to $500 per tonne of bauxite, which leaves an attractive operating margin
- The ALCORE project will start immediately with the commencement of Stage 1 pilot plant at a pre-approved factory site in Berkeley Vale, central coast NSW for the production of Aluminium Fluoride (AlF3) test samples
- The 12 month budget for the Stage 1 pilot plant & production of AlF3 test samples program has been further reduced to $2.5 million site operations (including contingencies), plus $0.5m pre-IPO costs plus $0.3m working capital and administration cost, which will be kept to a minimum under ABx administration & control
- $1 million of funding has been promised by a party that is providing services to ALCORE Stage 1, $0.5 million of funding has been provided to ensure that current work programs are not delayed and $0.2 million has been pledged by parties supportive of this new technology.
- It is anticipated that the remaining $1.6 million of seed capital will be fully subscribed to complete the funding of Stage 1
- An advisory-steering committee has been assembled and it has recommended the investment structure terms, with a priority given to expediting the development of an ALCORE Production Plant that will produce 50,000 tonnes of AlF3
- Once Stage 1 completes the production of AlF3 test samples, it will be modified to test the production of Corethane, which is pure hydrocarbon powder refined from low-value coals.
- Corethane will provide heat and electrical power for the ALCORE Production Plant and will also demonstrate its use as a gas-substitute in gas turbine electrical generators or its use as a diesel substitute for fuel security purposes. Corethane has many industrial markets
- Discussions with governments and agencies are progressing at the highest levels
- Companies that showed strong interest in purchasing and/or marketing both the Aluminium Fluoride and the main co-products Corethane and silica fume are being consulted
- ALCORE and ABx are on schedule to complete funding arrangements by 30 June 2018
ABx CEO, Ian Levy said; "The ALCORE Project must be pursued without delay. Its customers are aluminium smelters and that industry is growing at an amazing pace. ABx however also has two core bauxite development projects that need all of the time and energies of ABx's project development team, namely the large Binjour Project in central QLD and the Penrose refractory bauxite project 90km inland of Port Kembla NSW. Separating ALCORE into its own entity with its own management and destiny will unlock considerable value for shareholders in both the short and medium terms. Financing of the ALCORE Production Plant cannot be pre-determined but an IPO during 2019 is one route, should there be no superior offers at the time."
1. Stage 1: Pilot Plant for product testing and engineering validation
ABx received its commissioned engineering, design and costing study on schedule on 28 February 2018 for Stage 1 of the ALCORE project, designed to generate bulk samples to be tested and validated by ALCORE's prospective customers for:
a. High density Aluminium Fluoride (AlF3)
b. Corethane (ultra pure hydrocarbon for fuel, heating and metallurgical use) and
c. Silica Fume for the concrete industry and for making eco-Geopolymer cement.
Stage 1 is to be constructed in Q3 2018 and work has commenced at site.
The chemical process was patented on 5th June 2017.
2. Financing Plans
Financing plans are to be finalised before the end of the fiscal year 30 June 2018 but seed capital raising has commenced with $1.7 million already available from sophisticated investors and a service provider that support this powerful new technology.
ABx has been approached by three parties involved in the Aluminium Fluoride industry to discuss future sales. All three are interested in providing finance for the Stage 2 construction of the 50,000 tonne per year production plant, subject to offtake agreements. One has expressed interest in providing finance for the Stage 1 Pilot Plant, should it be required.
Discussions are continuing with Federal and State Government ministries and with a government authority. These discussions will continue in 2018 and become quite specific once the Stage 1 process makes its first samples of final products.
3. Expressions of Interest in Coproducts Corethane and Silica Fume
ABx has been approached by two major companies seeking negotiations for access to two of the major co-products from the ALCORE production plant, namely Corethane and Silica Fume.
ALCORE will expedite the production of test samples of these co-products so as to demonstrate their value to various customers and governments.
Corethane is a high-efficiency fuel for gas turbine electricity generators and can also be used to provide high-energy, low emission heat for several industrial applications. It can be used as a chemical reductant in the manufacture of metals, including ultra-pure silicon metal for electronics. When combined with water, Corethane makes a substitute fuel for low-speed, high power diesel engines - for example in ships, trains and large diesel generator plants.
Silica Fume is a rapidly growing industry, being an amorphous, micro-fine form of silica (SiO2) that is increasingly used in making high strength concrete (complementing ABx's existing marketing of its cement-grade bauxite) and CO2-free geopolymer cements. Other hi-tech markets exist.
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About Australian Bauxite Ltd
Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) (ASX:ABX) has its first bauxite mine in Tasmania and holds the core of the Eastern Australian Bauxite Province. ABx's 22 bauxite tenements in Queensland, New South Wales & Tasmania exceed 1,975 km2 and were selected for (1) good quality bauxite; (2) near infrastructure connected to export ports; & (3) free of socio-environmental constraints. All tenements are 100% owned, unencumbered & free of third-party royalties. ABx's discovery rate is increasing as knowledge, technology & expertise grows.
The Company's bauxite is high quality gibbsite trihydrate (THA) bauxite that can be processed into alumina at low temperature.
ABx has declared large Mineral Resources at Inverell & Guyra in northern NSW, Taralga in southern NSW, Binjour in central QLD & in Tasmania, confirming that ABx has discovered significant bauxite deposits including some of outstandingly high quality.
At Bald Hill near Campbell Town, Tasmania, the Company's first bauxite mine commenced operations in December 2014 – the first new Australian bauxite mine for more than 35 years. ABx has created significant bauxite developments in 3 states - Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. Its bauxite deposits are favourably located for direct shipping of bauxite to both local and export customers.
ABx endorses best practices on agricultural land, strives to leave land and environment better than we find it. We only operate where welcomed.
Australian Bauxite Ltd