Sconi proponent Australian Mines has received a $1.9 million Federal Government rebate for its research and development work.
The money relates to work the company is undertaking with Simulus Group in Perth on a demonstration-size high-pressure acid leach and solvent extraction plant.
It follows another rebate of almost $300,000 in October.
Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said the operation of the demonstration plant had allowed optimisation of a process flow sheet for Sconi and to explore potential commercial opportunities for scandium oxide from the operation.
Australian Mines said research and development continued to be a critical component of its plans, as demonstrated by its partnership with UK-based technology company Metalysis.
That work is geared towards producing a cost-competitive aluminium-scandium alloy.
It is also working with the Amrita Centre for Research and Development on the use of scandium in next-generation hydride batteries and hydrogen storage applications.
The Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project is located 250km north-east of Townsville.
The operation is expected to cost about $1.3 billion to develop, with construction expected to create up to 500 jobs from this year through to 2021.
A deadline for the financing package under Australian Mines’ offtake agreement with SK Innovation was recently extended to September this year.