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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: July 5th 2005


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:: Xstrata Technology Launches Albion Process Technology

Xstrata Technology, together with Highlands Pacific, has formed a partnership with Core Resources to market its Australian-developed Albion Process technology. Xstrata and Highlands will retain ownership of the intellectual property for the technology.

The Albion Process uses atmospheric leaching after ultrafine grinding to recover base and precious metals from refractory ores. It was developed over 12 years of research and piloting at Xstrata's Hydrometallurgical Research Laboratories (previously owned by MIM) at Albion in Brisbane.

General Manager of Xstrata Technology Joe Pease said: "Base and precious metals are increasingly sourced from refractory ores. The Albion Process offers a simple, robust and substantially more cost effective solution for many refractory ores than alternate processes such as roasting, pressure or bacterial oxidation.

"Xstrata is a strong supporter of its Australian based technology business, which successfully markets smelting, refining, grinding and flotation technology around the world. We believe the best way to support further development of technology is to make it commercially available and believe the Albion Process will have a wide commercial appeal, given the clear competitive advantages it offers."

Co-developer of the Albion Process technology, Highlands Pacific, is also a participant in the new venture. Managing Director lan Holzberger sees the Albion Process as a step change technology in the treatment of complex and refractory ores. He commented: "We see a number of applications where the Albion Process can be used by Highlands, and we are very keen to see it brought into commercial use".

To market the technology, Xstrata and Highlands have formed a partnership with Core Resources Pty Ltd, a private resource development and financing company established and run by Jonathan Loraine, who was previously responsible for MIM's technology business. "Core has the necessary expertise in the technology, as it employs a number of individuals who have been involved with the Albion Process for many years" said Pease.

Further information about the Albion Process is available from a dedicated website: www.albionprocess.com




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