Fly ash processing to recover magnesium

Latrobe Magnesium has processed  bulk samples of beneficiated fly ash to produce magnesium metal and cementitious material in its first full scale commercial smelter tests in China. The fly ash was prepared using Latrobe Magnesium’s hydromet process.

Test work involved smelting three charges of some 150 kilograms each through a commercial retort at the Wu Long’s magnesium plant in Shanxi province. Based on initial data, magnesium recoveries are in the range between 80% and 90%. Final numbers will be determined once more comprehensive assaying has been completed, upon the materials return to Australia.

At the lower end of the range, the magnesium recoveries are already 5% higher than the average magnesium recovery levels of Chinese plants that process dolomite, reflecting the advantage of LMG’s unique BFA feedstock.

The large amount of cementitious material generated will enable large-scale cement tests to be completed.

Previous test work will be replicated to confirm the earlier results, together with a full suite of cement tests to determine the specific properties and advantages of this cementitious material. This work will take 56 days to complete, although 80% of data is expected to be available within 28 days. Initial results should be available late December with the full tests results due by the end of January 2015.

Following the completion of the cement tests, LMG will be able to commence its bankable feasibility study and its negotiations with potential customers who have expressed interest in entering into long term supply agreements.Latrobe Magnesium is develoing a magnesium production plant in Victoria, Australia’s Latrobe Valley using a world-first process of combined hydromet/thermal reduction. Using a patented extraction process the magnesium plant will harvest magnesium metal from industrial fly ash.

A pre-feasibility study and an adjustment study have been successfully completed and a bankable feasibility study to commercially justify the new technology will commence in the later party of 2014. Construction of the plant is due to start in 2015, with first magnesium production due in 2016.

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