High Purity Alumina (HPA)
HPA is the pure form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3). HPA is the pre-cursor material for the manufacture of sapphire glass and ceramic coated Lithium-Ion-Battery (Li-B) separators.
Its value derives from its physical properties of extreme hardness & chemical stability.
Purity is determined by the concentration of trace elements in the alumina compound e.g, iron, magnesium, sodium.
Price and performance of HPA varies upon product density, crystal structure, particle size and distribution and degree of purity.
4N HPA is the largest sector of the HPA market and is seen by Alpha HPA as the most logical sector of the market in which to focus in terms of demand volumes and margin optimisation.
High Purity Alumina (HPA) – Market
High Purity Alumina (HPA) – Demand Outlook
Consensus market agreement on strong demand growth for HPA to 2025. Market analysts divided on growth driver being either the increasing adoption of LED (Light Emitting Diode) products and/or separator coatings in lithium ion batteries (Li-B’s).
HPA Demand Outlook (2018-2025)
Demand for HPA – Regions
Demand for HPA is primarily being driven by the increasing adoption of LED (Light Emitting Diode) products, separators in lithium ion batteries (Li-B’s) and scratch resistant artificial sapphire glass for smartphone screens and watches.
Growth demand is dominated by the APAC Region (~70% in 2016) primarily China, Japan and South Korea.
As a would-be Australian based HPA producer, CLL is ideally placed to service the most dominant region of global HPA demand.
Supply of HPA
- Current HPA supply is concentrated in the Asia Pacific region (~83%) with China the most prolific producer.
Current production is dominated by large diversified chemical companies where HPA is a non-core product and an immaterial percentage of revenue (< 5% for Sumitomo Chemicals)
- opportunity as a focused HPA producer to:
- Become a genuine alternative supply source to the existing dominant APAC producing countries, and more importantly
- Fill an expected supply shortage as forecast HPA demand escalates over the next decade
- CLL stands to become an extremely low-cost HPA producer with its product mix of Ni-Co products offering potentially significant co-product credits
Strong potential exists for long-term offtake agreements prior to commercial production.
Existing HPA Production Process
Existing HPA production is synthesised from Al metal feedstock.
Aluminium alkoxide is synthesized from aluminium metal and alcohol, and hydrated alumina is produced by hydrolysis of alkoxide, and finally high purity alumina is obtained by calcination.
High Cost: Contains the inherited process cost of Al Metal feedstock (Bayer Process+ Hall–HéroultProcess)
Our HPA Process - Solvent Extraction
The Solvent extraction process operating on a continuous basis inside the ‘mini-rig’
Metallurgical Testwork – CLL Process Flowsheet
CLL’s process flowsheet utilises established technologies capable of delivering several high-end specialty product streams.