- Current group available cash at the end of the quarter was $1.94 million.
- ABx has lines of credit for working capital, if required, and has no current plans for capital raisings.
Sales & Operations
- ABx loaded and shipped a combined 35,000 tonnes of cement-grade bauxite from the Bell Bay export port in Tasmania, 3 weeks ahead of schedule in October 2017.
- Fertiliser grade bauxite sales are growing steadily to satisfy growing agricultural demand at modest but valuable prices in Australian dollars. The outlook for regular fertiliser sales during 2018 is positive.
- Once sales despatches were completed, operations at the Bald Hill bauxite project at Campbell Town in northern Tasmania finalised the rehabilitation of pit areas MB6 and MB5. The rehabilitated land has been returned to sheep grazing in accordance with company policy to leave the land better than we found it.
Bauxite Refining Technology
- This technology is for producing Aluminium Fluoride (AlF3) used as an electrolyte for aluminium smelters & lithium ion batteries and a co-production of Corethane which is an ultra-pure hydrocarbon that can substitute for natural gas for electricity and heating of the ALCORE plant and for sale into the national grids if needed. Corethane also has markets for metallurgical use and brickmaking.
- ABx executed a Heads of Agreement with technology provider, Refined Ore Industries Limited (ROIL) for the global exclusive rights to apply the technology to beneficiate and refine bauxite into high-value products. ABx worked with ROIL to complete the technology development and to make the patent application in June 2017.
- ALCORE's business plan is to develop the first of several ALCORE bauxite refinery projects in Tasmania and/or northern QLD. ABx's uniquely clean bauxite is ideal for ALCORE because it is totally free of deleterious elements.
- ABx has commissioned Turnkey Innovative Engineering Pty Ltd (Turnkey) to help in the engineering, design and costing of the 1st stage of the ALCORE project to generate bulk samples of products for market-testing by ALCORE's prospective customers. ABx plans to report to shareholders about Stage 1 in March 2018.
- Financing plans are scheduled to be finalised in mid-2018. ABx has been approached by a party involved in the Aluminium Fluoride industry to discuss Stage 1 financing and, if successful, other participants in the Aluminium Fluoride industry have expressed interest in providing some finance for the construction of the 50,000 tonne per year production plant, subject to offtake agreements. Demand for AlF3 is clearly strengthening.
- A third party is also seeking access to the Stage 1 Plant for the purification of graphite on terms that may supply one third of the cost of the Stage 1 Plant during its 12 to 18 months of testwork.
- Discussions are continuing with Federal and State Government ministries and with a government authority and these discussions will continue in 2018.
- ABx has been approached by two major companies seeking negotiations for access of two of the co-products from the ALCORE production plant, namely Corethane and Silica Fume.
Review of Binjour project
- ABx and its Indian marketing partner, Rawmin Mining and Industries (Rawmin) have applied for a Regional Jobs and Investment grant for the commencement of the Binjour Bauxite project in the Wide Bay Burnett region of central Queensland, shipping from the Port of Bundaberg.
- Resource modelling is in progress. Binjour Bauxite project resources are currently estimated as totalling 28 million tonnes from Binjour exploration licences (See Resource Statement) and granted mining lease at Toondoon south of Mundubbera. (See Resource Statement)
- Bulk samples were collected ahead of schedule in late December to expedite negotiations with customers for the execution of offtake sale-purchase agreements for the project.
TasTech Process Technology
- ABx completed a bulk-scale mining and processing project to confirm the effectiveness of ABx's TasTech technology at Fingal Rail project area, using freshly quarried Fingal Rail ore and stockpiled Bald Hill ore.
Bauxite Refining Technology
ALCORE's bauxite refining technology produces Aluminium Fluoride (AIF3) and other co-products including the gas-substitute Corethane to power the plant and Silica Fume for the cement industry which ABx already services with its supplies of cement-grade bauxite.
ABx has been in negotiations with potential customers about technical specifications for its AIF3 product and it is considered likely that there is sufficient demand for a 50,000 tonnes per year AIF3 production plant.
ABx will control all marketing of ALCORE products and is pleased to supply customers in the bauxite-aluminaaluminium industry to become more cost-efficient at the smelting stage, not just at the bauxite stage. Currently all AIF3 used in Australia is imported at prices higher than those paid by overseas competitors.
ALCORE's bauxite refining converts Tasmanian bauxite valued at approximately US$50 per tonne into a suite of products worth in excess of US$800 per tonne of bauxite representing a more than 10-times increase in the value per tonne of bauxite.
ALCORE also exploits ABx's main strength - its uniquely clean chemical composition, totally free of any deleterious elements that would inhibit ALCORE's bauxite refining efficiency. Few, if any other Australian bauxite is so suited to ALCORE's bauxite refining technology.
ABx has published a timeline for this project as follows:
1. Complete assessment and costing of the Stage 1 "EV Plant" stage: 28 February 2018
2. ABx Board to review and agree to proceed or otherwise: Early March 2018
3. ABx to announce its development plans, costs and financing: Mid March 2018
Binjour Project Commencing Financial Studies
This project area is located inland from Bundaberg, central Queensland, comprising the main project area located at Binjour, 115kms SW of Bundaberg between Gayndah and Mundubbera with a granted Mining Lease at Toondoon 25kms south of Mundubbera and an exploration project at Brovinia further to the south.
ABx and its Indian marketing partner, Rawmin Mining and Industries (Rawmin) have applied for a Regional Jobs and Investment grant for the commencement of the Binjour Bauxite project in the Wide Bay Burnett region of central Queensland, shipping from the Port of Bundaberg.
Resource modelling is in progress. Binjour Bauxite project resources are currently estimated as totalling 28 million tonnes from Binjour exploration licences (See Resource Statement) and granted mining lease at Toondoon (See Resource Statement) south of Mundubbera. (See Resource Statement)
Bulk samples were collected ahead of schedule in late December to expedite negotiations with customers for the execution of offtake sale-purchase agreements for the project. Discussions with prospective customers have commenced.
Once results from the resource re-estimation and the analyses of the bulk samples by multiple laboratories is completed, ABx will make a public statement of those results in the form of an ASX release.
To view the release with tables and figures, please visit:
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.
CEO and MD
Australian Bauxite Limited