KRR aims to initially commence HPA production as the first stage of a more diversified suite of specialty metals including high purity vanadium pentoxide and titanium dioxide products.
Mining studies were completed on behalf of KRR by CSA Global Consultants Pty Ltd (CSA Global), an ERM Group Company.
A Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) will be based on a conventional open cut mining operation, and a relatively simple processing flowsheet with all infrastructure located on site including a sulphuric acid plant.
The ore will be treated through onsite process plants consisting of a beneficiation plant and a downstream hydrometallurgical leaching and refining plant. These are based on relatively simple flowsheets, using conventional unit components. The flowsheet has been demonstrated through laboratory scale testwork to be scalable to produce high recoveries of alumina.
KRR aspires to be a significant world producer of high value HPA outside of Japan, USA, Europe and China. HPA is an essential ingredient in the production of light emitting diodes (LED) and lithium ion battery separators for electric vehicles (EV), both of which are used in clean energy and high technology applications. The demand for high quality HPA is expected to increase significantly over the coming decade.
The key market driver for >99.99% purity (“4N+”) HPA is the growing demand from two very large and growing industries – LEDs and EVs. The forecasted growth for 4N+ HPA to 2023 is expected to be over 40,000 tonnes which is 26.2% per annum. The supply landscape as it appears now would be unable to keep pace with demand.
4N+ HPA is currently priced at ~USD$24 per kg in over-the-counter transactions and this price is expected to increase with demand.
Pathway to production
Following completion of the PFS, KRR will move into a Definitive Feasibility Study. The Company is continuing to examine necessary project approvals and will be working on funding alternatives to take the Project forward.