Building on many years of professional endeavour by the founders, Alumtek Minerals Pty Ltd (AM) was established in 2018 to commercialise a proprietary technical process to treat bauxite residue (red mud) to extract Rare Earth Oxides (REO) & other valuable minerals (sometimes known as new economy minerals or critical minerals). Red mud is regarded as a contaminated waste due to its caustic nature and some of the metals content. Approximately 1 to 2.5 tonnes of red mud are produced for each tonne of alumina refined. Red mud is stored in tailings dams and poses an ongoing cost and contingent liability to its owners. Alumina refineries globally are looking for solutions to the red mud waste problem. AM’s process turns this environmental and financial liability into an asset whilst reducing the environmental legacy.
In October 2019, AM was awarded a commercialisation grant from the Queensland Government to further develop its proprietary technical process. AM opted to commission SGS Australia, an independent third-party minerals and metallurgy R&D laboratory, to certify the AM proprietary technical process and optimise the process design program. The results of the proof of concept work have confirmed and expanded the results achieved from previous scoping trials. The proof of concept work also allowed further optimisation of AM’s proprietary technical processes to lower cost of reagents used in the process and increase volume of REO & other minerals that have been recovered. The pilot work – using a sample of 100kgs of bauxite residue – produced a variety of REO and other mineral products including individual element separation.
Recoveries of valuable elements and compounds from the proof of concept work have delivered the following results through leaching and solvent extraction techniques developed from each tonne of red mud processed:
- Gallium (Ga) 58 grams
- Hafnium (Hf) 10 grams
- Scandium (Sc) 39 grams
- Titanium (Ti) 8.8 kgs
- Vanadium (V) 582 grams
- Zirconium (Zr) 284 grams
- Mixed REE 249 grams
Additionally, we recovered aluminium hydroxide 117kg/tonne, iron sulphate 131kg/tonne & gypsum 25kg/tonne.
Currently AM has a letter of commitment and draft agreement from Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) for supply of up to 500,000 tonnes of red mud per year and to operate a process Facility at the QAL site. Alumtek Minerals also has an R&D agreement with another R&D refinery and is progressing this as a separate project. The company has an MOU with Freedom Energy for supply of vanadium for their pilot vanadium battery plant in Gladstone. Alpha HPA has expressed interest in buying the Aluminium hydroxide produced if it meets their specifications.
For more information on investing in AM please contact:
Craig Wilson (Director)
T: +61 414 741 791