Alpha HPA commercialises first synthetic sapphire crystal

Alpha HPA (ASX:A4N) says it has grown its first synthetic sapphire crystal at its HPA facility in Gladstone, with next production runs to begin immediately.

The company is commercialising the first and only synthetic sapphire growth capability in Australia, using the Ebner-Fametec sapphire growth technology and its high purity alumina feedstock. 

Synthetic sapphires are man-made and are pure crystalline forms of high purity alumina grown under controlled conditions as a single monolithic crystal. They have unique physical properties that makes it a critical, high-value input into LED lighting substrates and various optical applications, including consumer electronics, medical application, and defence. 

Alpha, which has a market capitalisation of $887 million, says the sapphire boules will be sent to the Ebner-Fametec facility in Austria for further quality assurance reviews. The review will confirm the performance test criteria is on track. 

Alpha HPA’s wholly owned subsidiary Alpha Sapphire will also send two boules for sapphire processing into ingots for further testing, ahead of the start of customer qualification.

The company has a letter of intent with Eber-Fametec to purchase and roll-out sapphire growth units in three phases. 

Phase one has already been completed, while phase two comprises the purchase and installation of 48 synthetic sapphire growth units. Phase three comprises an additional 50 synthetic sapphire growth units — totalling 100 synthetic sapphire growth units. 

In June 2023, both companies expanded the letter of intent to include the ‘Nova Phase’, which contemplates the purchase, construction, installation, and operation of up to a further 1,000 synthetic sapphire growth units.

Alpha HPA is focused on producing ultra-high purity alumina and related premium aluminium materials through its proprietary solvent extraction and refining technology.  

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Alpha HPA
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.