WA Kaolin (ASX:WAK) reports a major milestone has been achieved at the Wickepin Kaolin Project in Western Australia with commissioning of stage one now completed and time limited operations starting on 30 September.
On commencement of the initial kaolin production phase, WA Kaolin has exceeded 80% plant design capacity and is rapidly approaching its nameplate capacity of 25 tonnes per hour.
The company’s first customer order of kaolin produced at the new Wickepin processing plant has also been shipped.
WA Kaolin has notified the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) of the completion of the commissioning phase of the processing plant at the company’s wholly owned Wickepin Project and has staryed the initial production phase.
The company is already approaching nameplate capacity of 25 tonnes per hour production rate of its high purity kaolin, on time and within budget.
Following the successful conclusion of the commissioning stage of the project on 29 September, WA Kaolin is pleased to report it has completed its first shipment of kaolin K99 produced at the new Wickepin processing plant to a Western Australian-based client later that day
Commenting on the milestone, CEO Andrew Sorensen said: “This has truly been a momentous occasion with the completion of the commissioning stage of our Wickepin processing plant and the successful first shipment of K99 produced at the plant.
“Of great significance, which we want to reiterate, is that we have completed the commissioning phase at Wickepin with an outstanding safety record, which is something the WAK team is incredibly proud of”
Of great significance, which we want to reiterate, is that we have completed the commissioning phase at Wickepin with an outstanding safety record, which is something the WAK team is incredibly proud of. We look forward to reaching our target 200,000tpa production rate in the coming year whilst progressing with our stage two development, which will see our production increased to 400,000tpa.”
The processing plant at Wickepin has been constructed to utilise WA Kaolin’s proprietary dry processing method, the ‘K99 Process’, designed specifically for the high-grade Wickepin kaolin resource.
The K99 Process will produce an ultra-bright, high-quality kaolin product at a ‘low cost’, in comparison to other methods which rely on chemical bleaching and multiple wet mechanical and magnetic separation methods.
WA Kaolin already has in place offtake agreements and LOIs securing contracts covering 90% of the targeted stage one output of 200,000tpa kaolin.
The start of the stage one operations at Wickepin now paves the way for the development of stage two which will see WA Kaolin ramp up annual production rates of its ultra-bright, ‘high-quality’ kaolin to 400,00tpa.
Meanwhile, the company wishes to advise of the appointment of non-executive director, Mr Patrick Walta, effective 1 October. Walta is a qualified metallurgist, mineral economist and board executive and his appointment significantly strengthens WAK’s mining operations experience.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au
Images: WA Kaolin Limited