Sep 28, 2017

Promises tested on the Sconi project

Promises tested on the Sconi project Scandium oxide and cobalt are used in emerging battery technologies and are predicted to experience soaring demand as the world moves towards more sustainable and cleaner energy.
Australian Mines has kicked off trial mining at its flagship Sconi scandium-cobalt-nickel project in Queensland’s north.
The tri–metal project, north-west of Townsville, consists of five deposits – Greenvale, Lucknow, Bell Creek, Minnamoolka and Kokomo, with granted mining leases covering all key deposits.
 
According to the company, Sconi is the most advanced project of its type in Australia and it has a minimum 20-year mine life.
 
The initial trial mining campaign will involve excavating 20 tonnes of ore, which is anticipated to produce 160kg of nickel sulphate, 20kg of cobalt sulphate and 5kg of high-grade scandium oxide.
 
The ore is already promised to several prospective customers as part of ongoing offtake negotiations. Additionally, the company stated it had received a lot of interest from battery and technology manufacturers and will potentially expand its trial mining program to ensure these parties receive ore samples.
 
A bankable feasibility study is under way at Sconi and is due for completion in April 2018.
 
In early September 2017, Australian Mines agreed to purchase 100 per cent of Sconi from Metallica Minerals for $10 million in cash and shares. This followed a farm-in and joint venture agreement entered in 2016.
Once operational, Sconi is expected to have annual production of 3010 tonnes of cobalt sulphate, 24,420 tonnes of nickel sulphate, and 77 tonnes of scandium oxide.
Scandium oxide and cobalt are used in emerging battery technologies and are predicted to experience soaring demand as the world moves towards more sustainable and cleaner energy.
 
One of scandium’s commercial uses is in alloy form with aluminium. The resulting metal remains light but is stronger, more heat tolerant, and corrosion resistant. The aircraft industry has shown a strong interest in this alloy.
 
In the electric field, scandium stabilises heat while generating higher power, which can increase performance and life.
 
Cobalt sulphate has several uses including battery storage (electric vehicles), super alloys, drying agent in paint and inks, colouring, and a vitamin B12 supplement.

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