Update: JC Steele collaboration

During October we announced (link) a strategic alliance with JC Steele following signing of a mutually beneficial collaboration agreement.

The first step in our work together has been the installation of a ’25 Model’ mixer and extruder to our Coldry pilot plant in Bacchus Marsh Victoria.

The ’25 Model’ is a smaller scale version of the ’90 Model’ planned for use in our commercial scale plant.

JC Steele is covering the cost of the unit, worth around $250,000 and ECT is paying for the installation.

This exercise has multiple benefits to ECT including:

  • Equipment optimisation – the localisation study currently under way for our Victoria Coldry project will benefit from refinement of operational data generated by the unit. The design and engineering work for the Victoria Coldry project will run about $15 to $20 million. To ensure the plant is capable of a minimum output of 2 million tonnes a year a ‘design factor’ (over-sizing) ¬†will be incorporated, providing excess capacity. The amount of ‘design factor’ is determined by a complex and detailed analysis of the entire Coldry process. The more accurate the operational data, the less ‘design factor’ required. In short, this will help save capital cost, improving the return on investment and providing an even more compelling business case for future projects.
  • Pilot Plant capacity and throughput will be increased – a pilot plant by its very nature is not designed to be a commercially viable plant. It is meant to test and refine process concepts, mitigating future scale-up risk. The ’25 model’ extruder will increase the annual notional capacity of the plant from 10,000 to 20,000 tpa, significantly reducing the cost to produce each tonne of Coldry. This is important as we have several large sample runs targeted in coming months. These production runs will cost less and be completed in days instead of weeks.
  • Improved Coldry product density – the configuration of the new kit produces a much denser Coldry pellet resulting in very low fines generation during transport.
  • MATMOR development – as we progress MATMOR from test to pilot scale the new equipment offers us the option of re-tasking the Coldry pilot plant to Composite Pellet production. This means we could save on the cost of building a new, dedicated pelletisation plant for MATMOR.

We anticipate installation completion before Christmas followed by commissioning in the New Year.

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