IperionX Limited is pleased to announce the successful scaling up of titanium metal powder production at its Titanium Pilot Facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, using 100 percent recycled titanium metal as feedstock. Customer demand for this more sustainable product is strong, with IperionX accelerating plans to build a new TDF with an initial capacity of 125 tonnes per annum.
Scale-Up of a 100% Recycled Titanium Pilot Facility
IperionX's proprietary and patented metal technologies enable the production of titanium metal powders that meet industry quality specifications using 100 percent recycled titanium feedstock.
Titanium metal powder operations are rapidly expanding due to investment and process efficiency improvements, which included enhancements to scrap titanium metal handling processes, sintered spherical metal powders, and deoxygenated metal powders. The pilot facility's current run rate capacity is 1.5 tonnes per annum.
Additional process improvements will be implemented in the coming weeks, increasing the Titanium Pilot Facility's annual run rate capacity to 6.5 tonnes by the end of Q2 2022. The Titanium Pilot Facility is currently constrained by the low-temperature furnace's operational rate, which is used to perform IperionX's proprietary HAMR deoxygenation. As a result, actual production quantities will vary according to customer orders.
Scaling Up the 100% Recycled Titanium Demonstration Facility
IperionX intends to construct a larger TDF by the end of 2022, with an initial designed potential output capacity of 125 tonnes per annum. This facility will use low-cost 100% titanium metal scrap as a feedstock for low-carbon titanium metal powder production. The primary driver of capacity expansion is the acquisition of a more oversized commercial low-temperature furnace for use in the proprietary HAMR process. This capacity can be increased incrementally and modularly by increasing the size or number of low-temperature furnaces.
The TDF will serve as a demonstration facility for automation and process improvements to optimize operations before scaling up to the Titanium Commercial Facility. Additionally, the TDF will be used to advance IperionX's other metal technologies, including low carbon REE metal deoxygenation, hydrogen sintering, low carbon synthetic rutile, and improved mineral-to-metal reduction.
Performance Industries, Inc. is leading the planning and design, with technical assistance from Wingens LLC, an industrial manufacturing consultancy specializing in metals, thermal processing, and heat treatment, and Mr. Michael Moyer, a former Principal Engineer at Sasol's Arizona High Purity Alumina plant.
Commercial Facility Planning at Titanium
IperionX is currently scoping the size, location, and timing of the first Titanium Commercial Facility ("TCF") in the United States. The TCF will produce low carbon titanium metal and titanium metal powders. The parameters of IperionX's scoping study will evaluate various titanium plant capacity options.
IperionX's five-year goal is to become a titanium metal producer with an annual production capacity of over 10,000 tonnes.
Strong Partner Engagement
IperionX has established strong commercial relationships with a diverse range of potential customers in various advanced technology industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, consumer luxury goods, defense, and additive manufacturing (3D printing), with a particular emphasis on the potential long-term supply of titanium metal powders.
Notably, there has been considerable interest in evaluating IperionX's 100 percent recycled titanium metal powders, which could be used to create sustainable circular supply chains. In addition, IperionX's patented technology has been shown to reduce the environmental impact of titanium metal production by requiring lower temperature furnaces, requiring less total energy, and allowing for renewable energy.
Titanium powders are expected to be shipped in the coming weeks for partner testing, and prototype production runs. Spherical titanium metal powder is currently available for sale to users in the additive manufacturing industry at a price of up to US$250,000 per tonne, depending on the application.
“As a result of the successful scaling of the Titanium Pilot Facility - and the strong interest we are seeing from potential customers for our 100% recycled, lower cost and low carbon powders - we are now progressing the development of a larger scale facility. This comes when there is an increased strategic focus on the need for wrestling control of the titanium supply chain from China and Russia and bringing it back to the U.S.
We intend to help re-build a U.S. supply chain using a closed-loop, low carbon and lower cost solution… from scrap to powder to parts, for a sustainable titanium supply chain.”
Anastasios (Taso) Arima, IperionX’s Managing Director and CEO