The project is located NE of the Karratha Airport, on sub-leased land owned by Rainstorm Dust Control, which is approximately 8 km from the city of Karratha. The location is well supported with existing infrastructure including gas pipeline, electricity transmission network and easy access to Dampier Port and the NW Coastal Highway. The magnesium rich bitterns are supplied by Rainstorm, who have an agreement with Dampier Salt Limited to purchase and extract the solar salt work’s bitterns stream that drains into Nickol Bay adjacent to Rainstorm’s site. The total contained magnesium available in the bitterns stream is in excess of 100,000 tonnes per annum.
Stage One: 1,000 tonnes contained magnesium per year
The Stage One magnesium recovery and processing plant will recover 1,000 tonnes per year of magnesium in high purity products. This represents less than 1% of the bitterns stream. This base product is magnesium oxide and will be produced at a rate of 1,725 tonnes per year. Most of this material will be converted into high-value magnesium organic salts and chelates, including magnesium citrate and glycinate. A portion of the magnesium oxide made will be retained and sold to end-users to negotiate off-take agreements for the Stage Two project.
The magnesium recovery plant uses conventional chemical processing equipment including: – pumps, agitated tanks, pressure filters, multi-hearth furnace, spray drying, reagent preparation, desalination, utilities and product bagging machines.
Stage Two: 21,000 tonnes contained magnesium per year
The Stage Two magnesium recovery and processing plant will recover 21,000 tonnes per year of magnesium from the bitterns stream. This primary product to be produced will be magnesium oxide at a rate of 36,000 tonnes per year. Secondary products will be magnesium organic and magnesium hydroxide.