Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) is moving on to the next stage of its research and development (R&D) project with Metalysis, the U.K.-headquartered metals and alloys technology company.
The progress is in line with AUZ’s focus on commercialising scandium oxide, scheduled for production concurrent to cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate from its Sconi Project in Queensland.
AUZ provided scandium oxide for qualification by Metalysis using ore from Sconi with purity in excess of 99.9% (or 3N).
The oxide has met all chemical and physical requirements to be ideal for use in an aluminium-scandium feedstock to support master alloy development.
Metalysis’ electrolytic technology allows for lower operating costs, energy consumption and operating temperatures as the processing occurs with the metals in a solid state (as opposed to a melting process route).
AUZ’s R&D work in partnership with Metalysis is now moving to phase II.
The work program involves optimising product quality, scaling up test work, and further analyses to determine the alloy’s compositional characteristics and performance.
Phase II will also incorporate customer appraisal of the product and will further investigate demand driven end-user opportunities in relation to 3D printing of magnets.
This high value aluminium-scandium alloy continues to pose excellent launch product potential for Metalysis’ fourth generation industrial plant.
AUZ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am delighted that we have continued to make progress in our work with Metalysis and explore the potential to unlock additional economic value from scandium oxide to be produced at Sconi.
“By being involved in full end-to-end production this represents an appealing value proposition for our investors as opposed to the more typical mining and shipping ore approach.
“The fact that our scandium oxide product has been verified as meeting the specifications required to produce a master alloy puts us in an extremely strong position in our negotiations with potential scandium oxide off-take partners.”