Australian Strategic Materials and its Korean partner ZironTech produced this week 20.8 kilograms of high-purity titanium metal (99.83%) using 30% of the energy employed in standard titanium industry processes.
“This innovative metal technology energy usage is 35 kW per kilogram compared to the industry standard Kroll process that uses 117 kW per kilogram of metal, and shows significant environmental benefits,” ASM managing director, David Woodall, said in a media statement.
“We are focussed on ensuring these high-purity permanent-magnet metals and titanium metals do not cause the environmental impacts of traditional methods.”
In July, Australian Strategic Materials and ZironTech were able to produce 30 kilos of titanium metal alloy with the patented reduction process the JV has developed using 45% less power than current industry methods, so August’s results are interpreted as a positive step.
Woodall said that the company is now working on commencing a metal plant feasibility which will confirm the optimal size of a plant in Korea, with the opportunity to build additional plants in key manufacturing areas in Australia, North America, and Europe.
The idea is to feed these plants with the output from its polymetallic Dubbo project in New South Wales, which has a large in-ground resource of zirconium, rare earth elements (including yttrium), niobium, and hafnium.