The South Korean company has developed technology in the form of a carbon-free process to convert metal oxides into metals through an electrolytic process.
Under the deal, Alkane will invest US$1.2 million towards a pilot plant facility to complete late-stage piloting and feasibility study for larger scale development and commercialisation of the process.
The technology could provide a cost-effective and environmentally superior alternative to the traditional Kroll process used to make high purity zirconium, hafnium, and titanium metals.
This has the potential to increase the value of the 100%-owned Dubbo Project in New South Wales.
Alkane subsidiary ASM to have exclusive global rights
Alkane will have exclusive global rights to use the processing technology at commercial scale in relation to zirconium and hafnium under an agreed license and royalty regime.
Alkane’s managing director Nic Earner said: “We have watched with great interest and supported the success of CNU in developing and refining its metallisation technology, aware of the very significant environmental benefits, material cost reductions and high purity metal outcomes.
“Once piloted and proven, we believe this technology has the opportunity to reshape the metallisation industry for ASM’s key product lines, and we welcome the opportunity to build on the strong relationship we have formed with the Ziron Tech team over the last five years.
“This has the potential to be a breakthrough for ASM in its product marketing and will have obvious positive implications for the Dubbo Project economics.”
Alkane yesterday increased its FY19 gold production to 48,000-49,000 ounces from 42,000-47,000 from its Tomingley Gold Operations (TGO) in New South Wales.
Taking the mid-points of both ranges, the upgrade represents an 8.9% increase in production for the financial year ending June 30 2019.
The increased production means the operating cost guidance has also lowered 9.5% to $950 per ounce from $1,050 per ounce.
With the AUD gold price trading around record highs at $1,900 per ounce, Tomingley is producing solid cash flow.