Scandium International Mining Corp. (TSX: SCY) (“Scandium International” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd (“Weston”) of Chatswood, NSW, Australia. The MOU defines a cooperative commercial alliance (“Alliance”) to jointly develop the capability to manufacture aluminum-scandium master alloy (“Master Alloy”). The intended outcome of this Alliance will be to develop the capability to offer Nyngan Project aluminum alloy customers scandium in form of Al-Sc Master Alloy, should customers prefer that product form.HIGHLIGHTS:
MOU outlines terms of a commercial alliance with Weston Aluminum,
Represents key steps towards Master Alloy manufacturing agreement,
Allows SCY to quickly apply know-how alongside operating aluminum processor,
Supports a product offer more suitable to many downstream customers, thereby expanding the potential customer base, and
Allows SCY to bring added value to significant potential scandium markets.
The MOU outlines steps to jointly establish the manufacturing parameters, metallurgical processes, and capital requirements to convert Nyngan Project scandium product into Master Alloy, on Weston’s existing production site in NSW. The MOU does not include a binding contract with commercial terms at this stage, although the intent is to pursue the necessary technical elements to arrive at a commercial contract for conversion of scandium oxide to Master Alloy, and to do so prior to first mine production from the Nyngan Project.Discussion:SCY has been developing an internal understanding and capability to convert scandium oxide to Master Alloy for some time. In 2014, the Company announced it applied for a US Patent on Master Alloy production, which is still in the application phase. That Patent Application addressed scandium Master Alloys with both aluminum-base and magnesium-base metals. The Company has investigated scandium Master Alloy manufacturing processes previously with the CSIRO, in Australia, and Kingston Process Metallurgy (KPM) in Ontario, Canada. Further, the technical team in SCY has previous relevant experience in this metallurgical area.Weston Aluminium is a privately-owned, established secondary aluminum and industrial services company with its production facilities located near Kurri Kurri in, NSW, approximately 50km from Newcastle and 400km from the Nyngan Project. Using an environmentally attractive ‘non-salt’ processing technology from Asahi Seiren in Japan as its core technology, Weston has further developed its application to process all forms of aluminum bearing dross and by-products from the aluminum industry, and manufacturing Aluminum Deoxidant for steel making for BlueScope Steel at Port Kembla NSW and Arrium at Whyalla SA. Weston recycles industrial aluminum scrap, and dross, principally from the Tomago Aluminum Smelter located north of Newcastle, which is an independent joint venture between Rio Tinto Alcan, CSR and Hydro Aluminum. Weston today recycles 20,000 tonnes of aluminum materials annually, and has established capability in recovering valuable metals from metallurgical process dross materials, resulting in zero land fill.