ABx to commission new ALCORE reactor

ABx Group (ASX:ABX) is ready to commission a new bath pilot batch reactor at the Alcore Technology Centre in New South Wales.

The $17.88 million market capitalisation company says the bath pilot batch reactor has arrived and has been installed at the centre following manufacture by a specialised international supplier in late March this year. The centre is owned by ABx’s 83%-owned subsidiary, ALCORE. 

ABx reports the reactor employs ‘state-of-the-art technology’ to enhance process mixing, which is critical to achieving a high fluorine yield, and features a processing capacity 10 times larger than the previous bath laboratory reactor. 

The company says recent development work by ALCORE has indicated that achieving a ‘very high’ fluorine yield from ‘excess bath’, an aluminium smelter waste product, has been proved feasible. However, this was difficult to achieve using the previous laboratory reactor, hence the installation of the new reactor. 

If the new pilot batch reactor achieves its designed high yield of fluorine from the aluminium smelter waste, it will give further confidence that the continuous pilot plant and first commercial plant will perform as designed and enable further development work to be conducted. 

The pilot plant facility is being developed to recover fluorine from excess bath to produce hydrogen fluoride, with a later-stage commercial plant to further react the hydrogen fluoride to produce aluminium fluoride, which represents a ‘high-value’ chemical essential for aluminium smelting.  

Commenting on the installation of the new reactor, ABx Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Mark Cooksey says: “The commissioning of this state-of-the-art reactor will be a major milestone in the development of the ALCORE process, as it will demonstrate that sufficient fluorine yield can be achieved using commercial reactor designs and process conditions. 

This significantly increases confidence in the overall process scale-up and commercialisation.”

ABx is an ASX-listed high-tech company delivering materials for a cleaner future. 

The company’s majority-owned subsidiary, ALCORE, is currently developing a technology centre situated on the Central Coast in New South Wales. 

ABx Group had $5.89 million cash at hand as of 30 June 2023, according to its latest quarterly report, though the company launched a $1.5 million share placement to help fund the ALCORE Pilot Plant earlier this month.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: ABx Group
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.