Special Report: Zeotech (ASX: ZEO) has released the latest data from its joint metakaolin testing program with CQUniversity, proving that HRM – or high reactivity metakaolin – can be successfully produced from its Toondoon kaolin profiles.

Emerging Aussie mineral processing technology company Zeotech (ASX:ZEO) have shown that its high reactivity metakaolin (HRM) easily tops both Australian and International standards for manufactured pozzolan.


Not only that, the raw ore out of its wholly-owned Toondoon project contains a remarkable 80-90% pure kaolinite.

It’s this high-grade raw ore, which will yield ZEO a potential competitive cost advantage, providing a simple flowsheet due to the limited beneficiation required for the production of high reactivity metakaolin.

Zeotech CEO Scott Burkhart says the findings will support ZEO’s ongoing commercial talks with the cement industry, as the company looks to target the provision of a high-quality supplementary cementitious material (SCM) which could advance the adoption of low carbon cement and concrete products by years.


The other Metaverse

Concrete is the most widely produced and used man-made material and is formed from a mixture of Portland cement, aggregates, water and admixtures.

Portland cement – the main binding agent in concrete – is primarily produced  from  clinker.  And metakaolin is in super high demand as SCM because it can help replace that clinker.

Don’t giggle at clinker – it sounds harmless, but any reduction of the clinker-to-cement ratio anywhere means lower emissions and lower energy use.

And that’s great, because your garden variety Portland cement can contain up to 95% clinker (the other 5% being gypsum).

The current average clinker-to-cement ratio over all cement types in the EU for example is 73.7%.


A concrete fix for low carbon cement

So the successful use of SCMs is the most viable alternative to mitigate the fairly calamitous carbon dioxide emissions of the cement and concrete industries in the short term.

Zeotech is sitting on top of a lot of very high quality metakaolin – which is increasingly regarded as the most promising pozzolanic material for the future. In a state that has some of Australia’s largest cement producers, Queensland.

“The program with CQ University has delivered some very promising results that further highlight the superiority of the company’s Toondoon kaolin and the potential to produce a high reactivity metakaolin product that could be used as a SCM to support production of low carbon cement and concrete,” Burkhart says.

“The use of HRM as an SCM unlocks a considerable commercial opportunity for the company and we will continue to advance discussions with industry and explore commercial pathways that could catalyse metakaolin production in Australia as an SCM for concrete and future zeolite manufacturing.”


Method behind the metakaolin

The testing program has evaluated the optimum method of pozzolanic activation of four raw ore kaolin samples from Queensland’s Toondoon project, and two raw ore kaolin samples from ZEO’s other kaolin project in Abercorn, to maximise their potential commercial value.

ZEO reports that the results from the characterisation and reactivity tests have shown that all four kaolin samples from Toondoon are considered high-grade kaolin clays with high pozzolanic reactivity, capable of producing HRM.

According to the compressive testing results ZEO’s HRM can be produced from a range of profiles from the company’s Toondoon raw ore kaolin, with “minimal beneficiation, that meets the applicable standards for compression  strength, and importantly, practical considerations  such as workability.”


ZEO: Rocking a hard place

Zeotech expects to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the potential economic benefits of its metakaolin products, together with life-cycle analysis that could evaluate the carbon benefit from using the metakaolin product in cement and concrete.

Burkhart says his team has already begun work on a test pit at the Toondoon project.

His plan is to be sitting atop a high-grade raw kaolin stockpile of about 50 tonnes and ZEO is ahead on plans to produce even larger quantities of metakaolin.

“We want to further support cement industry pilot trials and broader collaboration initiatives. We want to bring some real solutions to market,” Burkhart says.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to project leaders, Dr Kumaran Suntharavadivel, and Dr Hassan Baji, from CQ University, for their effort and expertise that not only delivered some excellent results, but demonstrates the strong prospects of the company’s kaolin across a variety of profiles.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Zeotech, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice.  You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.