IperionX Limited, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, has announced that it has completed the detailed engineering design for the planned Titanium Demonstration Facility (TDF), announced in September 2022, and a techno-economic assessment for the company’s first Titanium Commercial Facility (TCF-1) with a production capacity of 1,125 metric tonnes per annum (tpa), located at the Southern Virginia Technology Park in Halifax County, Virginia.
The TDF and TCF-1 will utilise Hydrogen Assisted Metallothermic Reduction (HAMR) technologies to produce titanium metal powder. Development of the TCF-1 would furnish IperionX with the largest recycled titanium metal powder production capacity globally, whilst reportedly being the only titanium production facility using 100% titanium metal scrap as a feedstock. This will also reportedly be the only such facility with zero Scope 1 & 2 emissions with the lowest carbon intensity for any commercial titanium metal powder product.
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“The pathway for the development of the TDF and TCF-1 build upon the learnings from our current Industrial Pilot Facility operations in Utah where we have been producing circular titanium metal since early 2022,” stated Anastasios Arima, co-founder & CEO. “The development of the TDF & TCF-1 will scale our production to commercial quantities of 100% recycled titanium metal while also reducing the cost providing the potential for titanium to compete on price with other metals, including stainless steel and aluminium.”
Arima continued, “The US is a tier 1 fiscal and manufacturing operating environment with a large pipeline of government incentives potentially available to IperionX. We look forward to rapidly advancing our developments through 2023 and moving towards scaled-up production to secure a US supply chain of this critical metal.”
The design for scaling up Ti powder production
The TDF is expected to begin commissioning in Q4 2023 and be operational by Q1 2024, targeting a run rate of 125 tpa by Q3 2024. Development of the TDF remains subject to successful board approval for a final investment decision, expected in Q3 2023.
The TDF is projected to initially produce approximately ~15 tpa of spherical titanium metal powder and ~110 tpa of angular titanium metal powder. IperionX then plans to install additional equipment at the facility to allow for the operational flexibility to produce 125 tpa of either 100% angular titanium metal powder or 100% spherical titanium metal powder for an incremental capital cost of $6.9 million. Cash costs for 125 tpa of spherical titanium powder production at the TDF are projected to be approximately $72/kg, before contingencies.
The larger capacity TCF-1 could be operational by Q4 2025 if items with long lead times are ordered in Q3 2024. The TCF-1 is designed to produce 1,125 tpa of angular or spherical titanium metal powder. Capital costs for this expansion would be $70 million, with $48 million needed for long lead time orders and the remaining $22 million needed during commissioning in 2025.
Assuming a conservative spherical titanium metal powder price of approximately $130/kg (vs. current estimated market pricing of approximately $200/kg), and using key operating assumptions, the TCF-1 has the potential to generate revenue of approximately $145 million and EBITDA of approximately $100 million in 2026.