Australia’s Queensland Government has announced A$21m ($14.01m) in funding under its Industry Partnership Programme to critical metals producer Alpha HPA for the second stage of the HPA First project in Gladstone.

The company’s stage one precursor production facility (PPF), which features Alpha’s licensed solvent extraction and HPA refining technology, is already producing 99.99% pure aluminium products in commercial quantities.

Alpha HPA plans to start the second stage of development for the plant. This project is expected to create 117 jobs and strengthen the supply chain link between critical minerals production and manufacturing.

Queensland’s Acting Premier Steven Miles said: “The Queensland Government’s Industry Partnership Programme is one way we are supporting the growth of companies like Alpha HPA in priority industry sectors.

“In 2021, Alpha HPA chose Queensland as the home for this exciting project; fast forward to today and the company can now move ahead to stage two and plan for full-scale production thanks to assistance from the Palaszczuk Government.”

The stage two project is expected to enable the extraction and purification of aluminium from an industrial feedstock to produce 4N (>99.99% purity) alumina and 5N (>99.999% purity) aluminium salts.

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By GlobalData

These products are due to be sold into high technology markets for products including lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, LED lighting, semiconductors, and consumer electronics.

Alpha HPA managing director Rimas Kairaitis said: “Alpha HPA is delighted to receive this financial support for the HPA First project from the Queensland government.

“We welcome the state’s recognition of opportunities in the production and processing of critical minerals for new-economy products.

“In 2021, we signed the Central Queensland Statement of Cooperation with the Queensland Government. This commitment provided certainty for established and new industries in the Gladstone region to contribute to the goal of net-zero emissions manufacturing.”