Australian Mines is joining forces with United Kingdom-based technology company Metalysis to produce a low-cost, superior aluminium- scandium alloy for potential use by the automotive and aerospace industries.
Australian Mines is advancing the Sconi scandium-cobalt-nickel project near Greenvale, about 200km north-west of Charters Towers.
In a release to the ASX this week, the company said it was committed to maximising revenue from that project through the commercialisation of the high-purity scandium oxide expected to be produced from that site.
An innovative solid-state process, originally invented by the University of Cambridge (UK) before being commercialised by Metalysis, has already demonstrated an ability to produce an aluminium-scandium master alloy containing 15 times the amount of scandium compared to conventional industry processes.
Australian Mines said the ability to produce a scandium-rich master alloy containing up to 30 per cent scandium metal (compared to the industry’s current 2 per cent scandium metal), could result in a vast reduction in the cost of producing the final aluminium–scandium metal.
This could help position the company as a global leader in the emerging light-weight alloy sector.
Australian Mines is using a demonstration plant in Perth to deliver the high-purity scandium oxide to Metalysis under this R&D partnership.