Research and Development

One of Astron’s focuses has always been in the research and development of new production processes for the manufacturing of advanced chemicals and metals. We are currently investigating new technologies to produce lower cost metals and chemicals.

To ensure the continued growth in the pipeline of expansion opportunities Astron has its own in-house research facility in China. The focus of this R&D capability is around products allied to additives for road paint, synthetic rutile and fluoride processes.

The chemistry of these products provides tremendous and exciting potential for new business opportunities for Astron. Astron’s commitment and dedication to understanding titanium and zirconium metallurgy and chemistry and developing new products applications sets it apart from its competitors. The Astron R&D focus is to create solutions that allow our customers to be more successful.

MEDIA

Astron’s project definition statements are advancing with both the Senegal and Donald projects. Project and Engineering teams are currently advancing the Definitive Feasibility study for the Donald project in the Murray Basin Victoria.

Project milestones are continuing with Environmental, Engineering design, Infrastructure and operational preparedness activities.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Donald Mineral Sands (DMS) Project status:
Detailed Engineering and Definition Stage.

In 2019 DMS excavated a 1,000t run of mine (RoM) bulk sample of ore which was used for Wet Concentrator piloting works in 2020 using a purpose built 1:121 scale plant constructed in accordance with designs compiled during feasibility studies.  The resultant 24t of Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HMC) produced will be utilised for future test work and sales samples.

DMS are currently undertaking Rare Earth's floatation test work, preliminary results have indicated recoveries of up to 97% CeO2 and work is ongoing.

Further work around production and financial models, air and noise studies, rehabilitation program, Ore Reserve statement, logistics, risk profiling, project execution planning and infrastructure agreements will continue through the 2021 financial year. 

Senegal Mineral Sands Project status
Infrastructure planning & collaborative land access stage.

With several infrastructure contracts awarded, works await the acceptance and detailed collaborative access structure which will benefit both Astron's Senegalese subsidiary Senegal Mineral Resource (SMR) and the local villages through resource sharing, community development and social enterprise opportunities.

China processing status
Rebuild well underway.

Astron's new MIneral Separation processing plant has been successfully commissioned and is capable of processing up to 150,000tpa of ilmenite material for use as a high-quality feedstock for chlorination markets with TiO2 production plants in China.

Final stage commissioning of our Micro-agglomeration plant in Yingkou is underway, where expected monthly production volumes of up to 3,000t.

Testing and research and development facilities continue to be developed and upgraded.

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