Latrobe Magnesium (ASX: LMG) has been approached by an India-based company to form a joint venture and potentially establish a magnesium plant.
It has also been granted an Australian patent for its unique Hydromet process that recovers magnesium from spent fly ash from brown coal-powered electricity generation.
The company has executed a confidentiality agreement in relation to the Indian proposal, which could allow it to tap into the strong demand for magnesium in the country.
This is especially so given that its process is cost competitive with Chinese producers, based on its Australian adjustment study results.
India currently imports 14,000 tonnes of magnesium per annum from China.
Separately, RWE Power AG and LMG have identified the brown coal fly ash from RWE’s Hambach mine near Cologne as being suitable to commercially extract magnesium.
Initial estimates indicate that some 80,000 tonnes of magnesium and 600,000 tonnes of cementitious material could be produced annually from this mine.
Latrobe, which jointly owns the Hydromet process with Ecoengineers Pty Ltd and has the exclusive worldwide marketing rights for its commercialisation, has also lodged in March 2013 patent applications in the European Union, U.S., China, India and Indonesia.
All these countries are known to have large lignite/brown coal deposits.
Hydromet treats spent fly ash – a waste stream from brown coal-powered electricity generation – using chemicals to reduce sulphur, iron and silicon to acceptable levels so that the beneficiated material can be used as a feedstock in the thermal reduction process.
This allows magnesium to be from voluminous tailings of industrial fly ash from some of the world’s brown coal electricity generators.
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