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Alumina. Image: Alcoa

Alcoa of Australia has inked an agreement with FYI Resources for the potential development of high purity alumina (HPA) refining technologies.

FYI is developing a process for producing high quality, high purity alumina in the face of supply shortfalls for the product.

The agreement will see the possibility of commercialising the HPA refining project and establishing offtake customers into HPA markets.

FYI managing director Roland Hill said the company was very pleased to have the involvement of Alcoa, “one of the world’s most successful alumina producers”, to potentially partner in developing its HPA project.

“They will join us in co-developing the HPA process flowsheet and refining technologies, and commercialising the HPA business model as outlined in our recently published definitive feasibility study (DFS),” Hill said.

“This represents a significant step forward in our project development and is consistent with our broader development objective of attracting globally significant and strategic blue-chip partners to work alongside FYI in commercialising our HPA.”

The agreement is expected to develop Alcoa and FYI’s technical capabilities and capacities in producing alumina, and could lead to a joint venture between the two companies.

Alcoa boasts an alumina refinery capacity of 17 million tonnes a year.

The company earlier this year revealed plans to expand its Pinjarra alumina refinery in Western Australia from five million tonnes a year to 5.25 million tonnes, while winding down its aluminum facility in Spain.

Alcoa’s three-refinery operation in Western Australia is the world’s biggest single source of alumina, able to supply eight per cent of the global market.