Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) technology partner ZironTech has produced another run of 22 kilograms of titanium metal alloy at the joint venture (JV) commercial plant in South Korea.
Importantly, this test run has confirmed that ASM and ZironTech's patented metal production method uses up to 50% less energy than current commercial production methods.
The electrorefining process to produce high purity (99.9%) titanium metal is progressing with results expected next month.
This work forms part of ASM's pilot plant test-work on the use of low emission, high purity metal technology to produce zirconium, titanium and rare earths for permanent magnet metals.
The production of metals indicates significant cost benefits to ASM’s integrated business strategy and is key in the development of ASM's Dubbo Project in Central West NSW to supply critical materials.
Towards 'mine to metal' business
ASM managing director David Woodall said: “Our progress towards an independent fully integrated ’mine to metal’ business of critical materials is continuing very well.
“ASM’s focus is to be a stable, secure and alternate supplier of clean metals for the domestic and global markets with the production of these metals coming from our Dubbo Project.
“The clean metal technology can be applied to all the products from the Dubbo Project with our focus on the key critical materials of neodymium, dysprosium, zirconium, hafnium and praseodymium.”
Commissioning of the electrorefining section of the pilot plant is continuing, which will produce ultra-high purity metal including neodymium, praseodymium, other rare earth metals, zirconium and hafnium metal.
ASM continues with the optimisation of the Dubbo Project through the integration of flotation into the proven flowsheet seeking improved project capital and operating costs.
The company's JV partner continues work which reinforces ASM's metallisation strategy focusing on the products that will be sourced from the Dubbo Project.
Metallisation strategy reinforced
Woodall continued: “ASM management is currently in Korea to progress discussions on the commencement of a definitive feasibility of a clean metals plant and the progress of a joint Australian/Korean strategy that could ensure supply security and stability of these critical materials to the Australian and Korean manufacturing sectors.”
In a joint venture with South Korea’s ZironTech, ASM is advancing oxide separation and metallisation technologies to create a range of value-added materials from the Dubbo Project.
ASM was established by Alkane Resources Limited (ASX:ALK) (OTCMKTS:ALKEF) as the holding company for the Dubbo Project and ASM is focused on producing specialty metals and oxides for advanced technologies.
On July 16, 2020, at an Alkane extraordinary general meeting, shareholders approved the demerger of ASM which will see ASM become a standalone ASX-listed company with first quotation expected on July 30, 2020.