Collerina Cobalt says it has stumbled onto a “major opportunity” that could make it a high purity alumina producer quicker and cheaper.

The company (ASX:CLL) told investors that by using its “HPA First” process it could start production without having to build a mine or acid leach plant.

HPA — created from aluminous clay using various chemical procedures — is used as a base material for making lithium-ion battery components, LED lights, electronic displays (including smart phone glass) and surgical tools.

>> Find out more about ASX-listed HPA stocks

“This HPA First process is a far simpler process than the original process flow sheet, and does not require the development of a mining operation or associated acid plant, leach vessels, filtration plant, neutralisation circuits or tailings facilities,” Collerina said.

The HPA First process uses the company’s proprietary licensed solvent extraction and refining technology and a feedstock blend of available industrial products rather than an acid leach solution generated from the Collerina project — which will also eventually produce nickel and cobalt.

Collerina Cobalt (ASX:CLL) shares over the past year.
Collerina Cobalt (ASX:CLL) shares over the past year.

Technical director Rimas Kairaitis told Stockhead the process enables Collerina to basically produce a higher purity product and much more of it for a lower initial cost.

“Both those things present us with an opportunity to get through to HPA production cheaper and faster than we would otherwise be able to do,” he said.

“What we’re able to do now is effectively fast track the construction of the last stage of the processing circuit, which is the HPA plant, and maintain the option of building the front end of the plant at a later date.

“By capturing 80 or 90 per cent of our revenue first, the business case is just a lot more compelling for us.”

Mr Kairaitis could not say how much sooner Collerina could be in production, just that it will be “significantly quicker”.

The definitive feasibility study, permitting and financing processes are expected to be much shorter than originally expected.

Collerina has already proven it can produce 4N (99.99 per cent purity) HPA – which can fetch prices starting at $US25,000 per tonne.