Markets Aluminium Fluoride - for aluminium smelting
Global primary aluminium production is 60 Mt/y, of which Australia and NZ produce 1.6 Mt/y at five smelters. 10 to 20 kg of aluminium fluoride (AlF3) is required for every tonne of aluminium produced. There is no substitute for AlF3.
AlF3 prices are around US$1,000-1,800 per tonne, and so the global market of 1.2 Mt/y is over US$1.2 billion. More than 50% of aluminium and AlF3 are produced in China.
Australia/NZ is the largest aluminium-producing region without local AlF3 production, and so must import 100% of its AlF3 requirements. In 2020, Australasian smelters imported over 26,000 tonnes of AlF3 from China worth over US$30 million, which represents 80% to 85% of their total AlF3 purchases.
The Federal Government encourages domestic production of strategically important mineral products, such as AlF3, to reduce reliance on imports and provide security of supply to Australian industry.
Aluminium Fluoride - for lithium-ion Batteries
Aluminium fluoride is a candidate material for the separator in lithium-ion batteries and is the subject of active research. This market is a longer term, high value opportunity for Alcore.
The Alcore process can also generate some potentially valuable, non-hazardous co-products, such as iron oxide powder, silica fume and titanium dioxide.