Australian Strategic Materials (ASX: ASM) announced that titanium produced at its pilot plant in South Korea has been approved for 3D printing.
In a press release, the Western Australia-based company said that it received confirmation of its high-purity titanium powder from Hana AMT, a Korean 3D printing group, whose experts performed a detailed analysis of 20 kilograms of ASM’s titanium powder, confirming a purity of 99.918%.
The titanium metal powder assayed came from a run of 75 kilograms produced at ASM’s metallization facility in January 2021.
The pilot plant employs a patented reduction process that allows it to produce high-purity titanium metal (99.83%) using 30% of the energy employed in standard titanium industry processes.
Once a permanent plant is built, the idea is to feed it with the output from Australian Strategic Materials’ polymetallic Dubbo project in New South Wales, which has a large in-ground resource of zirconium, rare earth elements (including yttrium), niobium, and hafnium.
In the meantime and given the positive results of Hana AMT’s tests, the Australian company and the 3D printing firm have signed a non-disclosure agreement as they progress negotiations towards an initial 1,500-tonne-per-year offtake agreement for titanium metal powder.
“This independent review of ASM’s titanium metal powder is a great validation of our patented metal process, confirming the high purity and the environmental benefits of the metal ASM can produce for the manufacturing sector in Korea,” ASM’s managing director, David Woodall, said in the media brief.
“We look forward to progressing negotiations and continuing discussions with other potential offtake and strategic partners during our time in Korea.”