Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has confirmed the commercial scalability of its metallisation process with the production of 120kg of titanium copper alloy (99.5 per cent purity) at its facility in Korea.
ASM’s Ziron Tech team produced two 60kg runs of the titanium copper alloy at a rate equivalent to approximately 1,000kg per day.
This result is well above the targeted 250kg per day production rate, outlined in the agreement between ASM and Dongkuk Refractories and Steel Co Ltd (DK R&S), announced on 2 November 2020.
ASM detailed that the key to the successful demonstration of the commercial scalability was due to proprietary improvements to the company’s unique metallisation process, which has seen the efficiency of metal recovery more than double than the initial test work in the pilot plant.
The increase in efficiency was also delivered while maintaining the environmental advantages of ASM’s low-energy metallisation process, compared to industry-standard processes.
ASM’s focus will now be on accelerating the development of a larger metals plant in Korea through its agreement with DK R&S.
Members of DK R&S’s management and technical team were present to witness the successful metallisation run using the improved process.
ASM Managing Director, David Woodall, said the successful commercial production run of titanium metal alloy is a significant result for the ASM team in Korea.
“What is even more pleasing is that this result was achieved using a newly registered patented improvement to our metallisation process, which has more than doubled the metal yield,” Mr Woodall said.
“We continue to discuss with DK R&S how we can accelerate the development of a metal processing plant in Korea.”
“In addition to producing metal products from our Dubbo Project in central west NSW, ASM now has the potential to develop a significant business unit around titanium and other metals. This provides a tremendous foundation for ASM and its shareholders,” he concluded.
ASM’s pilot plant and mining project
ASM’s Dubbo Project is based on the Toongi Deposit which contains zirconium, rare earths, niobium and hafnium with reserves that support an initial project life of 20 years, and potential for a significantly longer mine life.
ASM, together with its partners, is advancing oxide separation and metallisation technologies to create a range of value-added materials from the Project.
ASM’s pilot plant in South Korea has been completed with successful production of titanium, neodymiumm, praseodymium, dysprosium and zirconium metal.
The Company’s innovative metallisation process is energy efficient (titanium production uses 70 per cent less energy) and has significant environmental advantages compared to the standard industry process.
ASM is progressing an optimisation study with key products for metallisation having been defined to be supplied from the Dubbo Project, and with the potential inclusion of flotation that have potential to positively impact the capital and operating costs of the project, along with increasing the revenue stream.
The metals feasibility study is forecast to be completed by the end of 2020 with the optimisation study to be completed by the end of Q1 2021.