Australia provides $256mn to high-purity alumina plant

  • : Battery materials, Feedgrade minerals, Metals
  • 24/04/17

Australia's federal Labor government will offer A$400mn ($256mn) in loans to a high-purity alumina (HPA) processing facility, as part of its recently announced Future Made in Australia policy.

Canberra has granted Australian developer Alpha HPA the funds via two separate agencies. The Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility and Export Finance Australia's (EFA) A$4bn critical minerals facility will each offer A$160mn and the two agencies will jointly fund a further A$80mn cost overrun facility, with drawdown on the grants contingent on Alpha HPA securing letters of intent for 10,000 t/yr in output.

The announcement comes after the Queensland government provided A$21.7mn for the second stage of the facility at the industrial city of Gladstone in Queensland state.

Australia's other HPA producer is Cadoux, formerly FYI Resources, is planning a 10,000 t/yr operation in Western Australia (WA) state's Kwinana industrial zone. The firm received an A$3mn grant from the WA government in November for an initial small-scale production plant.

Graphite grant

Canberra also brought forward an A$185mn EFA loan to Australian emerging graphite producer Renascor for stage 1 of its proposed vertically integrated battery anode material manufacturing project.

A downstream graphite concentrator plant is planned for South Australia state with feedstock from the Siviour deposit, the largest outside Africa, Renascor said on 17 April. The original loan was approved in 2022, and Canberra said the concentrator project will now be realised sooner.

Stage 2 will produce Australian-made purified spherical graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries required for electric vehicles and renewable technologies, Canberra said.

Renascor is progressing advanced engineering designs for the mineral processing plant and non-process infrastructure while discussing binding offtake terms with existing partners, as well as with other battery-anode market participants.

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