A second Western Australian battery metals project in a matter of days has moved forward with the completion of a joint venture agreement between Alcoa Australia and FYI Resources to jointly develop a high purity aluminium project in the state.
Only last week BHP Nickel West entered the battery supply chain for electric vehicles, opening Australia’s first nickel sulphate refinery.
On Friday after lengthy negotiations Alcoa and FYI signed a binding high purity alumina joint venture term sheet which aligns the project with the state’s Future Battery Industry Strategy.
The term sheet sets out a pathway to develop a large-scale demonstration plant and a primary production facility to produce and supply HPA to meet the rapidly-growing global demand.
The two companies have previously succeeded in producing 99.99 per cent pure HPA, a high value, versatile material used in lithium-ion battery technologies as a coating for separators, and well as manufacturing sapphire glass.
FYI plans a kaolin mine at Cadoux, WA and a processing plant at Kwinana south of Perth, with the two companies initially constructing a 1,000 tonne per annum demonstration plant at an estimated cost of US$7 million.
Then would follow an integrated mine and processing project which will produce 8,000 tonnes per annum and is estimated to cost US$50 million.
FYI Resources managing director Roland Hill said the agreement was a transformational event for the company.
Hill said: “The strong alignment between the parties and resulting HPA business case is outstanding.”
State development minister Roger Cook said: “Western Australia has enormous potential to become a world-leader in downstream processing and advanced manufacturing, and this project will contribute towards that goal.”
Picture: FYI Resources pilot plant
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.