Advanced battery materials specialist Australian Mines (ASX: AUZ) has commenced a series of production runs at its demonstration plant in Perth to supply battery grade nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate crystals to potential offtake partners.
Managing Director, Benjamin Bell, said the production runs facilitate the company’s discussions with potential offtake partners to secure binding offtake agreement(s) and financing for its 100%-owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel Scandium Project in North Queensland.
The demonstration plant is expected to be operational for up to six months and deliver several samples for independent testing to verify Australian Mines’ ability to consistently produce high quality battery materials.
The 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.
Mr Bell said the Australian and USA Governments as well as the European Union recently classified scandium as a ‘critical commodity’, which is driving significant additional interest in the Sconi Project as a source of high purity scandium oxide.
“As previously advised, Australian Mines’ primary focus is progressing negotiations to secure offtake and financing agreements for our Sconi Project,” Mr Bell said.
It is encouraging to have potential off-take partners assessing Sconi’s ability to consistently deliver battery grade materials and to have another potential customer testing the purity of our scandium oxide.
“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.”
The supply of samples from Australian Mines’ 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.