Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) (OTCMKTS:AMSLF) (FRA:MJH) has started production runs at its demonstration plant in Perth to supply battery-grade nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate crystals to potential off-takers.
This series of production runs will facilitate discussions with potential offtake partners to secure binding offtake agreement(s) and financing for the 100%-owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.
Focused on offtake and financing
Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said: “Australian Mines’ primary focus is progressing negotiations to secure offtake and financing agreements for our Sconi project.
“It is encouraging to have potential offtake partners assessing Sconi’s ability to consistently deliver battery-grade materials and to have another potential customer testing the purity of our scandium oxide.”
The demonstration plant in Perth is expected to operate for up to six-months and deliver several samples for independent testing to verify the company’s ability to consistently produce high-quality battery materials.
Scandium supply as well
Planned production runs will also be used to create high-purity scandium oxide for supply to a potential R&D partner, if terms are agreed, seeking to expand the industrial applications of scandium.
The Australian and USA Governments, as well as the European Union, have recently classified scandium as a ‘critical commodity’.
This is driving additional interest in the Sconi project as a source of high-purity scandium oxide.
“Time of huge demand”
Bell added: “Sconi is expected to be a low-cost, ethical source of high-grade technology metals at a time of huge demand for these commodities driven by the rapid growth in the electric vehicle and energy storage industries.”
Supply of samples from the demonstration plant will be on a non-commercial basis and forms part of the company’s ongoing investment towards the development of the Sconi project.
The offtake discussions are preliminary, incomplete and confidential and Australian Mines will advise if agreements are reached.