PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The prefeasibility study (PFS) into the high purity alumina (HPA) First process, at its Collerina project in New South Wales, has delivered a compelling business case, said Collerina Cobalt.
The HPA First route represents an opportunity to fast-track production of HPA as the dominant revenue material, ahead of any mine development at Collerina, using Collerina Cobalt’s proprietary licensed solvent extraction and refining technology and a feedstock blend of available industrial products, rather than an acid leach solution generated from the Collerina project.
The HPA First process is simpler than the original process flow sheet considered for the project, and does not require the development of a mining operation or associated acid plant, leach vessels, filtration plant, neutralization circuits or tailings facilities.
The PFS estimated that the HPA First project would require a capital spend of A$215-million to sustain an annual production rate of 10 200 t/y HPA, generating annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of A$248-million, and pre-tax free cash flow of A$247-million.
Collerina Cobalt MD Rimas Kairaitis said on Tuesday that the company was delighted that the PFS had delivered such a compelling business case for the HPA First project.
“These highly attractive financial metrics capture the unique opportunity that the company has been provided to disrupt the existing HPA production technologies and to supply the fast growing HPA market as it expands with the burgeoning battery sector.
“The company is now committed to immediately transitioning to a higher confidence definitive feasibility study (DFS) to position the company to make a final investment decision,” Kairaitis said.
The DFS is expected to be based off a pilot scale processing plant, which will be constructed and run within the company’s Brisbane premises. The pilot plant equipment list has already been built and orders placed for a number of long-lead items.
The pilot plant is scheduled to run from March to May next year.