Gladstone welcomes $200m alumina plant

Mineral development company Alpha HPA plans to build a $200 million high purity alumina (HPA) industrial plant in Gladstone, Queensland.

The plant will occupy a 9.2 hectare site in the Gladstone state development area which is owned by the state government.

This also marks Alpha’s transition from a pilot plant to a large scale manufacturing business.

The Gladstone site enables Alpha to be within two kilometres of Orica, which the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with to be its supplier of key process reagents and the offtake of the key by-product for the project, according to Alpha managing director Rimas Kairaitis.

“A successful pilot plant has been operating in Brisbane, since July 2019, and using a low-cost extraction process we are producing around three kilograms daily of over 99.99 per cent pure alumina,” Kairaitis said.

“We believe there is building global demand for our high purity alumina, with circa 70 lithium ion battery mega-factories under construction across four continents to meet the electric vehicle demand.”

Alpha plans to negotiate final purchase terms of the land with the Queensland Government and commence a full-scale project permitting process.

Queensland’s Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said he was pleased Gladstone has been selected as the location for the advanced manufacturing business, after competing with two potential interstate sites in Newcastle, New South Wales and Kwinana, Western Australia.

“Delivery of this project would support around 100 new jobs in a new emerging industry with global demand,” Dick said.

“High purity alumina is a rapidly-growing market, being fuelled by the rising demand for high-technology items, such as lithium-ion battery separators used in electric vehicles, particularly in China and Europe.”

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