Alcoa and FYI kickstart alumina trials at pilot plant


Alumina. Image: Alcoa

Alcoa and FYI Resources will begin high-purity alumina (HPA) trials at FYI’s pilot plant facility in Welshpool, Western Australia, this month.

The trials are part of the first phase in the two companies’ staged joint development project.

Pilot plant production is scheduled to commence on October 19 and will continue for 24 hours per day across the ensuing two weeks.

Following a short break to analyse the initial production data, a further two weeks of continuous operations will occur at the pilot plant.

The pilot plant trial aims to demonstrate processing efficiencies through the production of HPA, with the produce to be used for further detailed product qualification and assessment by prospective customers and offtake parties.

Some of the HPA output from the trial will also be used to progress broader applications and downstream opportunities, including HPA anode development.

FYI managing director Roland Hill said the pilot plant trial represents a critical step in the company’s joint venture with Alcoa.

“The extended pilot plant trial is an important phase in our HPA  project development,” he said.

“We are excited that we are approaching this milestone with Alcoa as it provides us with an ideal opportunity to finalise our initial design and engineering prior to progressing the final engineering phases.

“The significant quantity of HPA generated from the pilot plant will support our customer outreach program, including the provision of further assessment material as requested by the various potential off-take parties seeking to undertake detailed qualification studies on our high quality HPA.”

Earlier this month, Alcoao and FYI announced the two had executed a binding term sheet, outlining plans to commence construction on an 8000-metric-tonne-per-annum (mtpa) HPA plant in 2024.

The two companies also announced how it would get to this point, with a three-stage development process playing out across the next few years.

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