AusIMM International Future Mining Conference


AusIMM International Future Mining Conference

by AusIMM
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Damian Connelly will be presenting two papers at AusIMM International Future Mining Conference. Date and time are TBC closer to the conference date.

First: The Challenges of Producing High Purity Quartz

This paper describes a study on producing high purity quartz to meet the tight specification required by modern day high efficiency solar panels, lighting and fibre optics. The market specification is four and even five nines. The market for high purity silica to be used in solar panels is growing rapidly due to the growth in renewable energy applications. The processing of quartz is the key step to adding value. These unit processes include primary crushing, scrubbing. Attrition and magnetic separation, flotation and acid leaching followed by hot chlorination. The grinding of quartz requires specialist equipment because of the hardness and extreme abrasion. No increase in iron can be tolerated. Chemical refining is very effective. Critical impurities are aluminium, iron, sodium, potassium, lithium, titanium, zircon, calcium and magnesium. During the hot chlorination process at 1,200 C in a chlorine hydrogen chloride gas atmosphere. Only specialist companies can achieve this step and the danger of releasing any gas outside the vessel is very serious.

Microelectronic components are created by chemically fabricating wafers of semiconductors such as silicon to obtain the desired transport of electrical charge and control of the current. The high purity quartz market for >99.97% is a highly secretive and specialised market. High purity quartz is used to make silicon metal. Silicon metal has been designated a Strategic Mineral by the European Commission and by the US Department of justice.

This paper describes the laboratory testwork undertaken to produce a high purity quartz pre cursor material from an Australian ore source.

Second: High Purity Alumina and Potash Produced From Feldspar

High purity alumina (HPA) is a processed premium non-metallurgical alumina product characterised by its purity level i.e. 99.99% (4N), 99.999% (5N). The market price, application, and performance of HPA varies widely according to its degree of purity. High purity alumina is a form of aluminium oxide (Al2O3) with growing use in LED lighting and coating on the ceramic cathode separator sheets in lithium ion batteries.

This paper describes a study on producing high purity alumina from feldspar to produce HPA and potash for use as a fertiliser. The project was positive for a number of reasons. High potassium extraction >99% was achieved in the alkali leach using sodium hydroxide as the leaching agent and full dissolution of the alkali leach residue was achieved with hydrochloric and sulphuric acid. The potential to produce a high purity alumina product via a complex but promising emerging process was assessed. The potential to extract potassium as potassium sulphate to add value to the project was also demonstrated with the testwork

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Date And Time

02-09-2024 to

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