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Archer Exploration advances dual quantum computing and graphite technologies

Snapshot

As part of its advanced materials strategy, the company is progressing a graphite-to-graphene beneficiation strategy.

Archer quantum computing technology

Quick facts: Archer Exploration Ltd

Price: 0.135 AUD

ASX:AXE
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $26.61 m
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  • Archer’s quantum computing solutions could be first movers in solving quibit-processing temperature problems
  • A quantum chip project at USyd in NSW is now underway, with the chip hopefully suited to using in a future universal quantum computer
  • Archer asset sales such as the $1.35 million Sugarloaf sales contract are expected to enable upcoming development efforts
  • Research and commercialisation successes will help build uses and demand for Archer’s own Campoona graphite in SA

What does Archer Exploration do?

Archer Exploration Limited (ASX:AXE) (FRA:38A) specialises in advanced materials and battery metals resources exploration and development.

The company is run by Dr Mohammad Choucair, a nanotechnology specialist and inventor who has more than 12 years experience in commercialisation and research and whose achievements include inventing the first material known to overcome a quantum technology limitation by allowing quantum information (quibits) to be processed at room temperatures.

Archer is now developing the licensed University of Sydney (USyd) technology which can hold quantum information and allow it to process the quibits. 

What does Archer Exploration own?

The key advanced materials asset is Choucair’s invention, which is exclusively-licensed from USyd for developing and commercialising the technology for room-temperature quantum computing uses.

Choucair had invented a carbon cube for quibit processing during his time at the university.

With his innovation, Choucair had invented the first material known to overcome both the limitations of sub-zero operating temperatures and electronic device integration for quibits.

Archer took a step forward with its commercialisation plans earlier this month after starting a maiden quantum technology project dubbed 12CQ to build a carbon-based quantum computing chip.

The company has begun building chip prototypes at USyd's Research & Prototype Foundry Core Research Facility at Sydney Nanoscience Hub where Archer’s quantum technology manager Dr Martin Fuechsle is now an honorary associate.

Archer and its partners plan to test and develop the device chip to process information at room temperature and hopefully use the chip as the basis for a universal quantum computer.

Critical componentry of the advanced chip invention is housed in Archer’s wholly-owned subsidiary Carbon Allotropes which the parent company took over in December 2017.

Choucair founded the resource exploration company’s advanced materials subsidiary and became Archer CEO at the time of the takeover.

If Archer successfully develops the device chip it can become a first mover and crack the lucrative $US500 billion semiconductor market and the emerging quantum computing market set to reach $US29 billion by 2021.

Room-temperature data processing is tipped to be the catalyst for making quantum computing mainstream and facilitating its widespread adoption by consumers.

Archer hopes to license out and directly sell to a variety of markets, including Australia, Europe, the USA, Japan, Korea and China, where patents have been filed.

The company also holds a graphite-focused resources industry portfolio, with its cornerstone asset being the Campoona Graphite Project on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

Archer and the University of New South Wales embarked on a research collaboration and demonstrated that Campoona graphite can be used in commercially-scalable lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries from Campoona graphite have full-cell configuration.

The company has a reliable energy MOU with Urbix Resources, LLC for graphite toll processing, an MOU Archer has previously said it expects could bring more than $14 million of capital cost benefits to the project over its lifetime.

Another reliable energy collaboration, FlexeGRAPH, could provide an opportunity to convert graphite from the project into high-value graphene material, as the collaborators seek to thermally manage electric vehicle batteries.

A biosensors human health collaboration with the ARC Research Hub for Graphene Enabled Industry Transformation at the University of Adelaide could help Archer reach an ageing global population whose health bills are set to reach US$27 billion by 2022.

The Australian research centre developed graphene-based conductive inks derived from Campoona graphite for printing electronic circuits on transparent and flexible substrates which act as basic bio-electrochemical-sensing device componentry.

Archer viewed its Campoona graphite as process agnostic for graphene production after the material was used for the biosensing technologies printing.

In February 2019 the company announced a $1.35 million contract to sell off its Sugarloaf farmland in South Australia had become unconditional after the buyer had obtained finance.

Archer’s Sugarloaf contract is to take effect on July 1, 2019, and this will put proceeds from the divestment of its non-core assets at $3.35 million this financial year.

The company hopes to use the proceeds from these sales to advance the quantum technology side of its business.

Archer’s exploration projects encompass critical minerals and have included graphite, cobalt, manganese, copper and magnesite projects.

First assays from drilling at the Hood prospect at the Blue Hills Copper-Gold Project in South Australia in March 2019 showed 24 metres grading 0.1% copper in the first drill hole.

The second hole 51 metres away intersected 46 metres grading 0.05% copper from 40 metres in similar geology to the first hole.

Archer’s assays had supported its geological model and suggested a large intrusive-related copper-gold mineralising event.

The company then completed the drilling program after drilling Hawkeye and Katniss targets, then received positive results this month that Hawkeye and Katniss were even more gold-rich than Hood prospect and may be from a separate intrusion.

Archer directed $508,000 towards its operating activities in the December quarter of 2018 and collected $9,000 from share issues in the quarter to end December with $1.6 million cash.

Archer tipped $700,000 of cash outflows for the March quarter of 2019, with the company’s latest quarterly reporting expected by the end of April 2019.

Inflection points

  • Continued success in collaboration and commercialisation efforts

  • Success of carbon-based quantum computing chip project for room-temperature quantum information processing

  • Suitability of the chip for a future universal quantum computer

  • Campoona graphite exploration and development milestones, including feasibility study funding and successes

  • Wider development of the quantum computing sector and the viability of competing efforts to solve quibit-processing temperature problems

CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair highlights business' materials focus

“Materials are at the heart of what we do and the materials we’re using form the basis of the technology,” Archer chief executive officer Dr Mohammad Choucair told Proactive Investors last week.

“They are the tangible realisation of the technology and so it’s just a natural course of our activity to be developing and integrating these materials in the quantum tech space.”

 

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