To assess the technical and economic practicability of using its innovative solid-state process to produce a scandium rich master alloy the company has announced that it has signed an MOU with a UK technology company Metalysis Limited focused on the development of metal alloy powders. The study has demonstrated processing facility producing scandium oxide at the Platina Scandium Project in New South Wales, Australia and the viability of constructing a low capital expenditure open-cut mining operation.
Extensively tested through a pilot program which processed 6-tonnes of ore and produced 99.99% scandium oxide is the process for producing the scandium oxide. To reduce the production costs of making value-added scandium products including master alloys the company is now actively focused on market development and securing off-take and assessing options. Metalysis has developed an electrochemical technology used to make aluminum-scandium alloys which can produce a scandium-rich master alloy feedstock. By melting scandium oxide powder with aluminum metal, the traditional industry process route involves producing a 2% aluminum-scandium master alloy currently.
To less than 0.5% scandium metal for use in the final product the master alloy is further diluted with molten aluminum. 15X higher in scandium content using scandium oxide and alumina oxide Metalysis’ technology allows the production of a master alloy addition as compared to the traditional melting processes the process can produce a wide range of alloy powders at lower cost and environmental footprints.
From industries including aerospace, automotive, and additive manufacturing, scandium rich master alloys produced by Metalysis’ process are in demand. Scandium can produce stronger, heat tolerant, weldable aluminum products when used in combination with other common aluminum alloys. Lowering fuel efficiency requirements and light-weighting EVs these products are being incorporated into transportation applications. The economic and technical feasibility of utilizing the technology within potential development scenarios at Owendale, the MOU contemplates using Owendale scandium oxide to produce a scandium-rich master alloy utilizing Metalysis’ process.
For testing by customers in the aluminum and alloy industries the program will also produce samples of the scandium rich alloy. During the pilot program completed earlier in 2018, Platina will provide Metalysis with refined scandium oxide produced. Platina Resources Limited (ASX: PGM) under the metals and mining sector is trading at a market price of $0.060 as at December 14, 2018. The stock has undergone a performance change of -6.78% in the past one month.