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Australian Bauxite's rare earth, aluminium fluoride progress

The date of: 2021-08-05
viewed: 10

source: EXAMINER

A Tasmanian miner is hoping to make good money from rare earth elements important for high-tech uses.

Australian Bauxite Limited's June quarter report confirmed its discovery of rare earth elements in its bauxite tenement in Northern Tasmania.

It said the rare earth element metals discovered were the main rare earth element components of super-magnets needed in electric vehicles, wind turbines, smart phones and military electronics.

'The prices of the four super-magnet type of REE are rising strongly due to the scarcity of these REEs whilst the demand for them is rising exponentially due to the rapidly growing volumes needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines and military applications,' chief executive Ian Levy said.

'Traditional hard-rock mines and processing plants take many years and billions of dollars of investment in technically difficult processing plants.

'For this reason, ABx has explored for a water-soluble type of REE occurrence which can be developed rapidly and at low cost to produce a concentrate of REE elements that can be sold to the existing processing plants so that they can expand production rapidly.'

Australian Bauxite has bauxite leases in Tasmania in a rough triangle between the Midlands, Scottsdale and Deloraine.

It said 87 per cent-owned subsidiary Alcore Limited had 'achieved an innovative breakthrough' with production of aluminium fluoride ... from 100 per cent dross waste from an aluminium smelter.

It said that cut Alcore's operating cost scenario by 20 per cent to less than half the median long-term average Chinese aluminium fluoride export price.

'Aluminium fluoride markets are tight due to reduced supply from China to Australasia in recent months,' Mr Levy said.

'Aluminium fluoride is an essential ingredient in aluminium smelters and Alcore's planned production in Bell Bay, Tasmania, will provide security of supply and increased recycling of wastes for Australasian aluminium production, which is worth more than $4.5 billion per year.'

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