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High Purity Alumina (HPA) and Halloysite


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From almost nowhere, the exploration, extraction of and applications for HPA and halloysite ran hard, but have faded, almost as quickly.



HPA is a high-grade form of non-metallurgical alumina, with a purity level of 99.99% or above. The material is chemically inert in most environments, has a very high melting point, and does not conduct electricity.


Traditionally, bauxite has been used as feedstock for creating a refined aluminium metal, which is then processed further to create HPA. However, this costly and energy intensive method of manufacturing HPA has restricted its production.


However, technological advancements have spawned several disruptive processes for producing HPA directly from other sources including kaolin or its purer, less common derivative halloysite, and industrial feedstock. Most of these newer processes bypass the aluminium metal stage or use an alternative feedstock.



HPA is incorporated in the lithium-ion battery, which is a market forging rapidly ahead. Lithium batteries generate a lot of heat, which, if left unmanaged can result in thermal runaway like what notoriously happened to Samsung with its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.


Additionally, the larger the battery, the bigger the risk. It has been found that using HPA coated separators in lithium batteries can boost safety and efficiency.


HPA coated separators increase the battery thermal stability, as well as enhancing impedance which allows for high power capability. The material can also improve battery life cycle and decrease self discharge.


HPA is critical in creating synthetic sapphire, which is used in developing substrates for LED lights, semiconductor wafers used in electronics, scratch resistant glass used in wristwatch faces, optical windows and smartphones.In this field, HPA is sought for its extreme hardness. It transmits in UV, visible and IR wavelengths. It has high heat resistance and thermal conductivity.



Halloysite is an aluminosilicate clay mineral with the empirical formula Al2Si2O5(OH)4. Halloysite typically forms by hydrothermal alteration of alumino-silicate minerals. It can be used in a range of industrial applications including as a catalyst for breaking down petrochemicals and to produce carbon nano-structures for the battery industry.




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I have noticed HPA bring touted as the next big thing, what with decarbonisation and electric vehicles and other clever ways to enhance our lives just around the corner. Like the Lithium and graphite and all those associated metals needed, the metallurgy keeps changing as research expands. Big dollars are being thrown at this part of the market.


In frequently quoted research, GLOBAL HPA MARKETS ARE CONSOLIDATING

... HPA growth has been invigorated in response to global investment in EV's as post COVID19 stimulus incentives

... New applications and technologies have created increased demand and market opportunities

... The current global 4N HPA market demand is ~60ktpa; this is expected to increase to ~75ktpa by 2021 and >270ktpa by 2028*

... The market for HPA is witnessing dramatic consumer driven growth, with the HPA market forecasted to be US$4.49Bn by 2022**

References: -*CRU HPA Market Research July 2019 **Allied Market Research, World High Purity (HPA) –Opportunities and forecasts 2015-2022


The Australian response is to dust off the old geological surveys and get out there with this years dream in their eyes. Just for a bit of holiday fun, I have pulled together some of the likely players either coming to market or reinventing themselves as HPA / halloysite hopefuls. I mean to say, if aluminium is 8% of the earth crust, then there must be examples aplenty of weathered, aluminium clay mineralisation out there.


WA Kaolin Limited (WAK)

Alpha HPA Limited (A4N)

FYI Resources Limited (FYI)

Andromeda Metals Limited (ADN) in JV with Minotaur Exploration Limited (MEP)

OAR Resources Limited (OAR)

Latin Resources Limited (LRS)

Altech Chemicals Limited(ATC)

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and two reasons, actually three, why I am finding it hard to commit any hard earned to this sector

1. WA Kaolin said it will be targeting customers across paper and plasterboard, ceramics, fibreglass, pains and coatings, plastics, rubber, pharmaceuticals and medicine, cosmetics, concrete and agriculture sectors. ..... The company is looking at entering the premium paper and packaging market....

Meanwhile in the high value, high purity alumina space, WA Kaolin noted it will continue monitoring the industry and make a move to enter the market 'at the appropriate time'.

2. Not included in the list. PUA

On November 5th, 2018, Hill End Gold Limited (HEG) changed its name and ASX code to Pure Alumina Limited (PUA).

... 30 September 2019 PUA is pleased to advise the resulting change in focus. While Pure Alumina remains convinced of the strong forecast demand for high purity alumina .... the Company has elected to place the development of the Yendon high purity alumina project on hold until market conditions improve...

On August 7th, 2020, Pure Alumina Limited changed its name to Peak Minerals Limited.

3. Being the proliferation of aspiring companies in the space, and that is just in Australia.. Rare earths, lithium, graphite?

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  • 7 months later...

there is a bit from FYI on the general aspects of HPA utilisation, in this Stockhead article





When it comes to lithium ion batteries, HPA is currently used as the coating on the separator between the anode and cathode. The HPA coated separators improve battery chargeability (charging and discharging rates), performance (power density), safety and overall service and durability.


But that is not all. HPA battery applications could grow significantly beyond this.


FYI Resources (ASX:FYI) calls HPA the hallelujah battery material with applications in the separator and anode .... and increasing potential candidate in cathode development.


The whole battery, basically.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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