PROCESSING

MinRes calls time on Hazer collaboration

MINING contractor Mineral Resources has decided not to proceed to stage 2 of the binding cooperation agreement covering the development of synthetic graphite project it entered into with Hazer Group in 2017.

 A pilot plant to test the Hazer process.

A pilot plant to test the Hazer process.

Under that agreement, a three-stage approach to developing the project was proposed.

Stage 1 involved the development of a pilot plant, which was completed in August 2019.

The Mineral Resources-owned rotary paddle tube reactor exceeded performance targets in producing graphite at more than 95% total graphitic carbon.

However, following a review of the synthetic graphite industry and due to changes within Mineral Resources' business, graphite is no longer considered a strategic resource.

Mineral Resources is instead focusing on its iron ore, lithium and mining services portfolios.

Hazer is pressing on with its plans to develop its 100 tonne per annum hydrogen production facility, which is to be built at the Western Australian Water Corporation's Woodman Point wastewater treatment facility.

That project will produce about 370tpa of Hazer graphite - the first larger scale example of Hazer graphite available to the market.

Hazer also has a research and development program through its relationship with the University of Sydney and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.

A key focus of that R&D program focuses on innovative uses, functionalisation and purification of the carbon material produced through the Hazer process.

The Hazer process uses natural gas and an iron ore catalyst to produce hydrogen and carbon.

Hazer Group chairman Tim Goldsmith said Mineral Resources had played an important part in Hazer's development.

"We understand the reasons behind Mineral Resources' decision and wish them well with their rapidly growing and very successful minerals business," he said.

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