Andromeda Metals has signed an offtake agreement for 70,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity kaolin from the Great White project in South Australia.
Chinese-based Jiangsu Mineral Sources International Trading (MSI) is a large commodity trading house which have been locked in with Andromeda for an initial five-year term.
While the pre-feasibility study at Great White priced the kaolin product at $700 per tonne, Andromeda reported the offtake was worth more, although it didn’t give an exact value.
Pushing the product’s value above $700 per tonne was the presence of halloysite nanotubes in the kaolin resource – a rare occurrence in nature and an expensive product to create synthetically.
Kaolin has hundreds of applications in everyday life, including ceramics, paint, paper and even a few kilograms in each car on our roads.
This offtake will represent more than half of the planned 116,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of refined halloysite-kaolin product to be manufactured at the planned 250,000tpa plant, which is being considered as part of the Great White definitive feasibility study.
The offtake follows a Memorandum of Understanding between Andromeda and AEM technologies, signed in May, for Andromeda to replicate AEM’s patented high-purity alumina (HPA) facility.
Andromeda managing director James Marsh said a development of this kind had always been the plan for the company.
“We have known for some time that our kaolin feed was a premium material for HPA production, but we have taken our time in order to be extremely thorough in identifying the right partner to drive this opportunity forward,” Marsh said.
“Andromeda considers that having access to proven commercial technology in this sector will allow us to fast-track this HPA opportunity towards commercialisation.”