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US first for MHM Metals’ aluminium technology

Australia / United States – MHM Metals of Australia has reached a milestone in the development of its aluminium waste recycling technology by securing a contract for the supply of feedstock to its first US salt slag and black dross processing facility.

The company’s first overseas contract is for five years and has been structured as a tolling arrangement where a fixed price per tonne is charged to the customer, with MHM returning aluminium and flux to the client while retaining ownership of recovered aluminium oxide. The contract is subject to a satisfactory visit by the US aluminium company to MHM’s Australian operations.

Under the agreement, MHM is not allowed to reveal the name of the counterparty, the contract terms or the tonnages to be processed, but completion of this contract provides sufficient volume to begin with construction of the US plant, which will have a throughput of 200 000-250 000 tonnes per annum. The company is continuing to engage with a number of other firms with substantial salt slag and black dross volumes and aims to secure additional processing contracts in the near future.

Black dross is a by-product from reverberatory furnace operations and has a similar composition to salt slag – although often with a higher aluminium content. MHM recently appointed John Pugh as Director of Operations, North America, which subsequently led the company to investigate black dross recycling opportunities. The company says that black dross recycling could be a potentially substantial additional revenue generator, with minimal investment of extra resources as the recycling of salt slag and black dross go hand in hand.

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