- 12 month R&D overview of activities successfully addressing cost and supply challenges historically limiting scandium use;
- New partner, Australian Mines, to provide scandium oxide for qualification in H2, 2018; and
- High value AlSc alloy continues to pose excellent launch product potential for Metalysis’ Generation 4 industrial plant.
Metalysis (or “the Company”), the UK technology company with a solid-state process to produce valuable metal alloy powders, today provides an update on its high value aluminium-scandium (“AlSc”) alloy research and development (“R&D”) programme.
The R&D programme has affirmed the view that Metalysis’ process could address challenges that have historically restricted the industrial use of scandium despite its excellent properties.
Scandium has strength and light-weighting characteristics that make it ideal for alloys of great interest to advanced manufacturing applications including in the aerospace and automotive industries. Although there are primary production scenarios under development, it is largely mined as a by-product with little surety of supply. As an alloy addition, scandium can as much as triple manufacturing costs at current pricing. Cost and supply constraints are two challenges Metalysis has focused on.
As announced on 17 May 2017, Metalysis is using its modular, electrochemical technology to produce a scandium-rich feedstock addition, supporting master alloy production. The process can produce a wide range of powder alloys at lower costs and environmental footprints than traditional melting processes.
In H2 2017, Phase I proof-of-principle activities using Metalysis’ ‘Generation 1’ technology successfully produced the AlSc alloy feedstock addition. It is more than 15X higher in scandium content than the commonly available 2wt% scandium master alloy and was produced at materially lower comparable costs.
In H1 2018, during Phase II, the Company began qualifying scandium oxide to produce the high value AlSc alloy feedstock from new sources. This is part of efforts to address global production and supply concerns.
To continue to do this in H2 2018, Metalysis is pleased to welcome a new partner. Australian Mines [ASX: AUZ] is focused on production and supply of battery and technology metals to global markets and developing cobalt-scandium-nickel projects in Australia. Scandium oxide from Australian Mines’ Sconi project, in northern Queensland, will be evaluated and used for further AlSc alloy production.
The R&D programme has now benefitted from global partners leading scandium oxide technology, trading, supply and mine development/production. It is underway at Metalysis’ Materials Discovery Centre in South Yorkshire, UK, where the Company conducts commercial projects with corporate partners and academia to produce advanced materials of growing demand among automotive, advanced manufacturing and additive manufacturing applications.
The R&D programme is also destined to benefit Metalysis’ Materials Manufacturing Centre in South Yorkshire, UK, which houses its ‘Generation 4’ industrial scale production facility. Being modular, Gen4 builds on Generations 1-3 of Metalysis’ technology and is capable of producing hundreds of tonnes of speciality powder alloys. A high value AlSc alloy continues to prove compelling as a potential launch product when Gen4 commercial production commences later in 2018.