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Astron’s (ASX:ATR) zircon product passes test with flying colours
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  • Astron (ATR) has received test results for zircon from the company’s Donald Mineral Sands Project, located in regional Victoria
  • The company tested its zircon product against standards for use in ceramic applications, such as whiteness
  • Astron’s zircon tested favourably, demonstrating its suitability for use as a whitening agent in the high-value ceramic market
  • The results will allow the company to progress potential offtake agreements
  • Astron is up 2.78 per cent and trading at 37 cents per share

Astron (ATR) has received test results for zircon from the company’s Donald Mineral Sands Project, located in regional Victoria.

The company analysed the initial zircon product from its Donald Project at its China test facilities. The zircon was tested against industry standards for use in ceramic applications, such as its whiteness.

Premium-grade zircon is often used as an ingredient in manufacturing ceramic tiles, due to its capability for producing whiteness — a highly desirable characteristic in high-value ceramics.

During the testing process, Astron tested its Donald zircon product for the quality of its whiteness, by comparing it to samples of three different competing zircon producers.

The zircon samples from Astron and its three competitors were ground down into ultra-fine powders, which were then turned into glaze slurries. The glazes were used to coat white plates, which were then dried and fired in a furnace before undergoing brightness testing.

The plates coated with the Donald Project’s zircon glaze ended up being the whitest and brightest of the four samples. This proved that Astron’s zircon product is of a premium grade and demonstrated its suitability for use as a whitening agent or opacifier in the high-value ceramic market. 

Due to its high grade, the production of zircon from the Donald Project will not require additional acid leaching treatment for impurities, which is usually the case.

These excellent results will allow the company to advance discussions with potential clients about zircon offtake agreements in the future. 

Astron expects its Donald Mineral Sands Project to produce between 95,000 and 100,00 tonnes of premium zircon per annum, in the first stage of production. The project’s second production stage has the ability to potentially double its zircon production.

Astron is up 2.78 per cent, trading at 37 cents per share at 11:38 am AEST.

ATR by the numbers
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