Jan 16, 2019

Cash boost for Sconi work

Cash boost for Sconi work Australian Mines, which operates the Sconi mine near Townsville, has received Federal Government money for research and development.

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.

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