Australian Mines, one of the leading mining companies in Australia, has partnered with the Institute for Frontier Materials at the University of Deakin to develop next-generation alloys of aluminum. The development process is expected to last nine months, starting from October 12 this year.
The two entities plan to use scandium extracted from the Sconi project in Queensland while developing the new alloys. The intention is to produce novel alloys which contain high-purity scandium oxide. The alloys created will be useful in the electric vehicle industry as well as in industrial processes in the green energy sector.
The development team will rely heavily on the expertise available at Deakin University, as well as upon the powers of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Speaking at the launch of the joint project, Benjamin Bell, the managing director of Australian Mines, said that working with Deakin University was a perfect move since it aligned with the company’s strategic intention to reap maximum benefits from its Sconi Project.
He explained that scandium has been known to have the ability to confer beneficial effects when it is combined with aluminum. However, the shortage of this purified mineral has made it nearly impossible for scandium and aluminum to be deployed extensively within industrial applications.
Bell revealed that when Project Sconi reaches full-capacity production, Australian Mines will be able to provide sufficient supplies of high-purity scandium oxide for use in batteries and energy storage systems. This will make Australian Mines a globally significant player in the provision of materials vital to the green energy revolution that is underway in different parts of the world.
The Sconi Project is estimated to have a useful life of at least 30 years. In that time, the mining operation will yield 200 tons of cobalt sulfate, and 1.4 million tons of nickel sulfate. Scandium oxide will be recovered and purified as those other minerals are extracted.
The U.S. federal government and the Australian government both classify scandium oxide as a critical commodity. The European Union has also recently given this mineral that same classification, and that goes to underscore how vital high-purity scandium is to the development agenda of different countries around the world.
This next-gen alloy development project, which is expected to boost the financial profile of Australian Mines, is backed by a $50,000 grant from the government of Australia, as well as a $56,000 kitty provided by Australian Mines. Analysts assert that other international players in the mining sector, such as GoldHaven Resources Corp. (CSE: GOH) (OTCQB: ATUMF), will be following the progress made in this ambitious yet needed project.
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