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Australian Mines in research partnership to evaluate scandium use in next-generation batteries, shares surge

It is the second major R&D collaboration examining the use of scandium from the company’s Sconi project in Queensland.

Scandium oxide from the Sconi project
Scandium oxide from Sconi also has potential for use in hydrogen storage applications

Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) (OTCMKTS:AMSLF) has secured a research partnership to evaluate the use of scandium in next-generation battery storage technology.

The collaboration is with India’s Amrita Centre for Research and Development’s Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies.

It will evaluate the potential of high-capacity scandium-magnesium ternary alloys for next-generation nickel metal hydride batteries and hydrogen storage applications.

Shares surge almost 26%

Investors responded positively with shares rising almost 26% to 4.9 cents intraday on strong volume of almost 30 million.

The company said the collaboration confirmed that it was a leader in scandium research and followed a partnership with UK-based Metalysis for R&D on a solid-state process to produce aluminium-scandium alloy.

Australian Mines’ managing director Benjamin Bell said, “Our partnership with the Amrita Centre has the potential to make a significant contribution to the scandium-magnesium alloys being considered as a high-performance alternative for the next generation of nickel metal hydride batteries.

“We also recognise the emerging economics around hydrogen as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels and believe metal hydride batteries could provide a storage solution for hydrogen.

“They can be handled without extensive safety precautions, which is especially relevant when considering applications like hybrid and electric-powered trucks and heavy-haulage vehicles.”

READ: Australian Mines assigned ‘spec buy’ recommendation in initial Argonaut research

The Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies based out of Tamil Nadu is a cutting-edge research facility operated jointly by the Amrita Centre and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

It is a broad multi-disciplinary institution, which has emerged as one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in India.

The centre is assessing the potential for scandium-magnesium alloys as a new class of high-capacity ternary alloys to improve energy storage capacity in nickel metal hydride batteries.

READ: Australian Mines receives R&D tax rebate for scandium oxide process flowsheet development

In addition, the research collaboration is assessing the potential for this new class of batteries to be used for storage of hydrogen.

This work aims to provide a practical solution to the increasing demand for technologies that can effectively store large amounts of hydrogen for higher energy use applications in heavy transport.

Bell said, “Under the research agreement, Australian Mines will retain all intellectual property rights generated through the collaboration, regardless of where and by whom the relevant IP is created.

“This would potentially provide lasting value to shareholders from the future commercialisation of the applications subject to the R&D partnership.”

R&D with Metalysis

The R&D work with Metalysis is examining an innovative solid-state process to more efficiently produce aluminium-scandium alloys for use in the automotive manufacturing sector.

Bell added that the company remained committed to delivering additional revenue from the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland through marketing the high-purity scandium oxide.

READ Australian Mines' Sconi project being assessed by government infrastructure fund

“This can be produced at minimal additional cost to the proposed cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate operation,” he said.

Quick facts: Australian Mines Ltd

Price: 0.024 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $95.07 m

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