Andromeda Metals (ASX: ADN) has confirmed the potential of its Poochera kaolin-halloysite project to produce a 99.99% high-purity alumina, after metallurgical test work on Poochera feedstock was carried out, which the company claims could be a “world class” product.
Test work was undertaken on the Carey’s Well deposit where indicative offtake agreements already exist and offer Andromeda a case for fast-tracking the deposit through to mining.
According to Andromeda, halloysite is a rare derivative of kaolin and has a range of industrial uses beyond kaolin as well as commanding a premium price.
Additionally, Andromeda claims the kaolin-halloysite deposits can be found “extensively” across Poochera.
In late April, Andromeda inked a deal with Minotaur Exploration (ASX: MEP) to earn up to 75% of Poochera.
Prior to the joint venture deal, Minotaur had undertaken resource drilling across Carey’s Well. The company has also carried out bulk sampling, pilot test trials and marketing of the ore.
Carey’s Well has now been advanced to the stage where it is ready for a mining lease application as part of a feasibility study.
Minotaur claimed back in 2012 that pilot plant trials on Carey’s Well kaolin had produced “one of the purest kaolin feedstocks” available at the time.
The current metallurgical test work is to confirm that 3N and 4N high-purity alumina can be achieved using the ore.
Initial results have indicated a 99.99% high-purity alumina can be achieved from Carey’s Well kaolin-halloysite using standard industry processes and eliminating the silicon, iron and sodium content through enhancements.
Andromeda has planned further testing to optimise the process flow sheet for Carey’s Well ore to achieve this.
Additionally, the company will revise the scoping study and send bulk samples for potential customers to trial.
As part of Andromeda’s entry into the high-purity alumina space, James Marsh officially started his managing director role with the company.
In addition to its conventional markets such as synthetic sapphire for LED lights and other electronic applications, high-purity alumina is used in the rapidly emerging lithium-ion battery space as a coating on the battery’s separator.
The material is also used in other emerging “new age” technology markets.
Andromeda was one of the biggest gainers on the ASX today with its share price up more than 33% to A$0.008 by late afternoon.