$14m market cap FYI Resources (ASX:FYI) has been ‘head down, bum up’ during 2019, pushing its high purity alumina project (HPA) towards a development decision.

HPA is vital to the rapidly growing light emitting diode (LED) industry, as well as the electric vehicle, energy storage and other high-tech markets.

And yet FYI continues to fly under the radar, despite the hugely positive demand outlook and some pretty exciting news flow from the company.

Last week, the company secured a site in the hotly contested Kwinana Industrial Area in WA – aka ‘Battery Valley’ — for its HPA refining facility.

A nice waterfront location.

Today, its all-important pilot plant (a smaller version of the real thing, designed to test the process before scaling up) churned out 99.997 per cent HPA – that’s above target grade.

The higher-grade stuff generally fetches a premium price.

Significantly, operational improvements in the pilot plant will now be applied to the commercial refining facility in Kwinana. That’s why this piloting process is so important.

“We were very encouraged with the initial pilot plant operational performance and in the plant achieving above target grade of 99.99 per cent,” FYI managing director Roland Hill says.

“However, we are especially pleased to now receive the excellent results from the optimised phase as it demonstrates that through the efforts of the piloting, improvements and refinements to the flowsheet have been achieved.

“This will have a positive impact on the final design of the plant and commercial production of HPA.”

Most importantly –where does FYI want to be this time next year?

“Midway through construction,” Hill told Stockhead.

NOW READ: FYI’s Roly Hill on HPA demand, disruption, and an industry leading project