FYI teams up with Alcoa

FYI Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding with major aluminium producer Alcoa that paves the way for a potential joint venture to support FYI’s vision for Western Australia to become a source of reliable, ethically-sourced high purity alumina.
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Haydn Black


Any JV could accelerate development of FYI's fully-integrated mining and refining project to the commercial stage.
Managing director Roland Hill said a blue chip partner could provide a boon in supporting its HPA commercialisation plan.
Key conditions of the MoU required further HPA pilot plant variability trials being successful. 
FYI recently completed a second trial run for samples to customers, receiving validation that its continuous calcination process can produce ultra-high purity alumina grading above 99.99% after samples were tested in US labs.
Further samples will be sent to the potential customers for follow up product qualification, after the first trial was well received.
It believes its process for converting kaolin into HPA will address the supply shortfalls in the rapidly growing HPA market.
Traditionally HPA derived from aluminium, via bauxite, is extremely capital intensive, and methods have not improved in decades, with the end results tending to be inconsistent, with high-levels of impurities, and a high carbon footprint.
Work by FYI has so far focused on producing HPA from kaolin, which requires a simple flow sheet, cheaper costs, and can offer a dependable long-term supply, which can be traced back to ethical sources, unlike much of the aluminium-sourced HPA in the world today.
Today's MoU will allow FYI and Alcoa to examine their respective technical capabilities and capacities in alumina production, co-developing the HPA process flowsheet and refining technologies, and examining how they can combine efforts to target HPA sales.
FYI brings the Cadoux project, 220kms north-east of Perth, Western Australia, while Alcoa has decades of success as a bauxite miner and alumina refiner.
FYI has been considering developing its refinery at Kwinana, south of Perth, close to where Alcoa's first WA refinery was established in 1963. 
The combined 8000 tonne per annum Cadoux project has a US$189 million price tag, of which A$80 million is expected to be provided for under an equity deal with European private equity group GEM Global Yield. 
FYI hopes to move into the construction phase next year, following its recently completed definitive feasibility study.
Shares in FYI were up to 15.5c, and is now trading at its highest level in a year.