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Chase Mining reveals further proof-of-concept progress in converting topaz into mullite

Topaz is an aluminosilicate and the specific goal is to explore the potential for developing fibres of mullite from the topaz.
Mullite
Mullite is a rare silicate mineral

Chase Mining Corporation Ltd (ASX:CML) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have made further progress on their research program to develop high-value products from the topaz found at Chase Mining’s Torrington Tungsten-Topaz Project in NSW.

Topaz is an aluminosilicate and the specific goal is to explore the potential for developing fibres of mullite from the topaz.

Importantly, a new report from the UNSW contains further evidence of proof-of-concept progress in developing the fibres.

Proof-of-concept that parallel (and separable) fibres by growth on templates can be fabricated

It may be possible to use as templates more readily obtained single-crystal alumina

The maximal fibre length of ≤35 micrometres is readily achieved

The addition of a fluorine source at low temperatures appears to be beneficial owing to its ability to expose the pristine mullite template surface for nucleation and growth by removal of residual silica.

The use of a polycrystalline alumina substrate located above and not in direct contact with the topaz powder to produce fibres of width ~4 micrometres from the gas phase provides proof-of-concept that sufficiently thick fibres can be fabricated.

Recommendations for future work

• Determination processing parameters to optimise parallel fibre growth.
• Confirmation of separability of fibres.
• Investigation of use of single-crystal alumina substrates for templated growth.
• Determination of processing kinetics suitable to achieve sufficient thickening of fibres.
• Development of gas phase fabrication process.
• Fabrication and characterisation of compacts for metal infiltration.
• Commencement of work on metal infiltration.

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