Queensland Set to Lead in High-Purity Alumina Production with New Gladstone Refinery

Queensland Set to Lead in High-Purity Alumina Production with New Gladstone Refinery

Queensland is solidifying its position as a top producer of bauxite and aluminium products with the imminent construction of the world’s largest high-purity alumina (HPA) refinery in Gladstone. Alpha HPA’s managing director, Rimas Kairaitis, announced that construction on the 10-hectare facility at Yarwun will commence by the end of September.

The second stage of this project will enable full-scale production of up to 10,430 tonnes of high-purity aluminium materials annually, creating 120 permanent local jobs in addition to 300 construction jobs. Kairaitis highlighted Alpha HPA’s proprietary technology, which allows for the cost-competitive and low-carbon production of ultra-high-purity aluminium materials, leveraging the established industrial infrastructure in Gladstone.

Production at the facility is expected to start by 2026, targeting high-technology markets such as semiconductors, lithium-ion batteries, and LED lighting.

The Queensland government is supporting Alpha HPA with a $170 million investment from the Queensland Critical Minerals and Battery Technology Fund, aiming to convert ordinary alumina into higher-value products like synthetic sapphire glass used in LED lighting, smartwatches, and phone screens. Additionally, the federal government has provided $400 million in loans to aid in the construction of the new facility.

According to the federal Resources and Energy Quarterly report for June, Queensland mined over 40 million tonnes of bauxite in the 12 months leading to March 2024, representing 39% of Australia’s output. The state also exported nearly $5 billion worth of bauxite, alumina, and aluminium in the 12 months leading to April, a 17% increase from the previous year. Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart emphasized the importance of a robust resources sector for Queensland’s economic strength. icon

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