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Alcoa Collaborates To Extract Critical Minerals And Rare Earths From Bauxite Residue

09/03/2021
Aligned with our commitment to advance sustainably, Alcoa is collaborating with Australian-based Alumtek Minerals and ChemCentre to further develop technology to extract useable materials from bauxite residue – a by-product of the alumina refining process.

The technology will target critical minerals and rare earths that have a range of highly technological applications in sectors including renewable energy, aerospace, defense, automotive (particularly electric vehicles), telecommunications and agriculture.

The project also has the potential to repurpose the bauxite residue left behind in the extraction process for use as an oil decolorizing agent, cement additive, road base, for water treatment or as a decontamination agent.

“Not only could this technology extract scarce critical minerals and rare earths that are considered vital to the economy, but it could also reduce Alcoa’s bauxite residue storage area footprint, which is a strategic sustainability goal,” Alcoa Vice President Continuous Improvement Refining Technology – Australia Eugenio Azevedo said.

“Building upon three years of bench testing, we will work with our project partners to apply technical know-how to further develop this concept.”

With a total project cost of $2.1 million, the twelve-month project has received funding of more than $1 million from the Australian Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) Grants.

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