Iluka Resources Limited, headquartered in Perth, Australia, has announced a £12.2 million investment in UK based Metalysis Limited. The deal will see Iluka, a mineral sands exploration company and the world’s second largest producer of titanium dioxide minerals, become the largest shareholder in Metalysis with an 18.3% interest in the company.
Metalysis has demonstrated that it is able to produce titanium powder directly from Iluka’s main high grade titanium feedstock products of rutile. The Metalysis Process is reported to offer both economic and environmental benefits over traditional metal production methods. The production of a relatively low cost Ti powder could significantly expand the use of this material in a number of areas of growing demand, including the PM and Additive Manufacturing industries.
“Iluka’s involvement as a major shareholder and funding partner provides Iluka shareholders with access to a new, potentially disruptive technology which is close to commercialisation, and the potential benefits of a new source of high grade titanium dioxide feedstock demand, as well as a commercial involvement in a potential new growth pathway for high value metals and alloys and new manufacturing processes such as 3D printing,” stated David Robb, Iluka’s Managing Director.
Metalysis Chairman Tony Pedder added, “Iluka coming in as a funding partner to Metalysis is an important part of the company’s journey. Iluka’s expertise in titanium dioxide as a feedstock, process engineering experience and access to global markets can make a significant impact on Metalysis’ development. The Metalysis process has applications across metals in the periodic table including: titanium, tantalum and rare earths and with Iluka’s access to titanium dioxide feedstock there is the potential to produce titanium powder with much greater efficiency and at a much lower cost than is currently possible.”