Insights from BCC Research

Go West, Young Man, to Western Greenland

Posted by Clayton Luz on Nov 30, 2016 10:30:00 AM

In Greenland, there's calcium feldspar "in them thar hills. There's millions in it." The mineral could prove as valuable as the mountainous gold that inspired this quote back in the rough-and-ready days of the California Gold Rush.

 
Western Greenland's Naajat mountain, the source of all that calcium feldspar, has been tapped by mining company Hudson Resources as a resource that may yield what the firm envisions as 100 years of mineral production. Currently, Hudson holds a fully permitted 50-year mining license.
 
ANORTHOSITE AS A FEED MATERIAL TO REPLACE KAOLIN

The Vancouver-based Hudson, which wholly owns the "White Mountain
Anorthosite" project, intends to "move aggressively to introduce our material to potential end users in the paint, coatings and polymer businesses with the objective of signing off-take agreements," says James Tuer, Hudson's president. "This will complement our major supply agreement already signed for the e-glass business line."
 
The White Mountain site is unique because it contains high concentrations of aluminum, silica and calcium with low sodium, and no other contaminants.
 
According to Hudson, the project offers the opportunity to establish a mine to supply the fiberglass industry with feed material as a replacement for kaolin. The company also will investigate the potential to replace bauxite in the production of alumina and provide solutions for the mineral filler/extender market.
 
Located 50 miles southwest of Greenland's international airport (Kangerlussuaq), the project is adjacent to tidewater on the Sondrestrom fjord, a logistic that will allow the company to use a barge as a floating wharf to reduce transportation costs for site project equipment.
 
This year, Hudson began drilling and blasting the foundations for the process plant, fuel storage farm, maintenance shop and the 35,000-ton product warehouse at the port.
 
Hudson plans to market the anorthosite under the brand name GreenSpar. The company claims the product's characteristics should benefit the environment, including reduced CO2 emissions when used in the production of fiberglass, and the elimination of toxic red muds when used in the production of alumina, the company claims.
 
The project, which won't use water or chemicals in the processing of the anorthosite, would generate about 50 full-time jobs in Greenland, according to company officials.
 
A NEW ADDITIVE FOR THE PAINT, COATINGS AND POLYMER FILLERS MARKET
 
In September, the company reported that an independent study confirmed the White Mountain anorthosite will make an excellent mineral additive for the paint, coatings and polymer industries. Known as functional fillers or extenders, mineral additives are used for their physical properties to improve the product to which it is added.
 
Industrial Mineral Management Consulting (IMMC), which conducted the study, found that the material offered functional filler and extender qualities such as high brightness (89.3 using the TAPPI scale), highest refractive index of the feldspar group minerals, low oil absorption, a Moh’s hardness of 6.0-6.5, and a low concentration of free silica (quartz).
 
Hudson will produce the paint, coatings and polymer material by upgrading a portion of the anorthosite that will be exported from Greenland for the e-glass market. Upgrading involves fine grinding (also referred to as micronizing) the anorthosite from 250 microns in size to various grades below 45 microns.
 
The company will call its material GreenSpar45. Hudson plans to establish an initial micronizing facility in the U.S. in conjunction with material already being shipped and trans loaded for Hudson’s e-glass customers.
 
High quality functional fillers and extenders are a sought after commodity. To learn more about this dynamic market, visit BCC Research.

Topics: Chemicals