The operation targeted the removal of 200 tonnes of halloysite-kaolin material using a large piling drill rig, with over 215 tonnes of sample ultimately extracted and bagged.
Samples are now being transported to commercial kaolin processing operations in China and Western Australia, with the overall processing and costing results to be used in feasibility studies.
Andromeda considers the program a crucial step in its strategy of fast-tracking an early direct shipping ore (DSO) business as well as its work on value-added processed halloysite-kaolin product to prove up a superior 5N (99.999%) high purity alumina feedstock.
The sample area was selected following geological modelling and extensive analysis of exploration drill samples by CSIRO and Newcastle University's Global Innovative Centre for Advanced Nanomaterials.
This ensured that representative, high-quality material of sufficient halloysite content was obtained for approval testing.
Drilling consisted of 17 vertical holes down to a maximum depth of 33 metres into the mineral resource envelope where modelling indicates more than 10% halloysite.
Seeking binding agreements
The planned Chinese and West Australian processing trials will be conducted using both wet and dry processing methods.
Analysis of trial results is expected to identify available processing options, determine final product specifications allowing indicative commodity pricing, and assist in estimating operational costs.
The fully-processed products will then be run through commercial ceramics factories for technical approvals and samples will be used for global marketing initiatives.
After successful commercial processing and application testing, Andromeda will seek binding agreements with kaolin processors for DSO as well as with end-customers in ceramics factories.