13/10/2021 - 12:02

Altech discovers high-grade WA Halloysite at Kerrigan

13/10/2021 - 12:02

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Altech Chemicals may have raised the stakes at its Kerrigan kaolin deposit in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt with the discovery of halloysite in its analysis of samples from last year’s aircore drilling program. Halloysite is a tubular type of kaolin that attracts a premium price because of its value for a range of specialist uses.

Altech Chemicals Managing Director, Iggy Tan. Credit: File

Altech Chemicals may have raised the stakes at its Kerrigan kaolin deposit in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt with the discovery of halloysite in its analysis of samples from last year’s aircore drilling program.

Kerrigan was identified as holding high-grade kaolin as far back as the early 1990s in drilling by other explorers, however until last year’s 27 aircore hole drilling program there has been little significant exploration since.

Altech says its ongoing investigations of six samples through X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy investigations are encouraging. One of the samples showed abundant tubular structures which it identified as halloysite and three others demonstrated similar structures that need further examination to be confirmed as halloysite.

Halloysite is a tubular type of kaolin that attracts a premium price because of its value for a range of specialist uses, including in high-grade porcelain, and potentially in new applications such as fibre-reinforced polymers and as micro-containers for controlled delivery of active agents.

Altech is undertaking more tests of 31 samples to determine the significance of the initial results.

The discovery of halloysite adds another potential arrow in Altech’s quiver however the company says its twin focus remains on the finalising of finance for its proposed high purity alumina, or HPA, plant in Malaysia and progressing a preliminary feasibility study for construction of a battery materials HPA coating plant in Germany.

The company says the plant in Johor, Malaysia will work up to an annual production of 4,500 tonnes propelling the Altech into an elite group as one of the world’s leading suppliers of 99.99 per cent, or 4N, alumina. Feedstock for the plant will come from its 100 per cent-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering in the WA Wheatbelt, more than 200 kilometres from the Kerrigan deposit.

HPA is an in-demand product for its value as a key ingredient in the production of synthetic sapphire, which in turn is used in the manufacture of substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in the electronics industry and increasingly, as a coating in lithium-ion batteries to improve performance and longevity.

In July, Altech said it had set up a dedicated research, development and testwork laboratory in Perth as it looked to fine-tune its proprietary graphite and silicon particle battery materials HPA coating technology.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options