The Australian mining company, Iluka Resources Ltd, has announced that it will invest a further £6 million in UK metal powder producer Metalysis Ltd, with an undertaking to commit an additional £4 million before 15 July 2016. The £10 million in total is expected to take Iluka’s stake in the company from 20.8% to 28.8%.
Iluka’s additional investment, together with an investment of £10 million from UK based, Woodford Patient Capital Trust, will support Metalysis’ commercialisation process as it seeks to further develop its single stage process for a low cost, low environmental impact, transformation of various metals into powder form.
David Robb, Iluka’s Managing Director stated, “If Metalysis can commercially produce titanium metal powder direct from rutile and synthetic rutile, at materially lower cost than current technologies, then a dramatic expansion in demand for titanium metal and titanium alloys could be expected. The application of titanium powder in 3D printing also presents potentially significant opportunities in a rapidly expanding market. Such developments would be positive for high grade titanium dioxide feedstock demand.”
Iluka’s support for Metalysis has been both financial and technical, with an example of the latter aspect being test work involving the addition of other elements to synthetic rutile which allow customised titanium metal alloys to be produced.
“Iluka is encouraged by the progress made by Metalysis towards commercialisation of its solid state metal powder technology. The company is also pleased at the increased focus on titanium as the core element of the Metalysis strategic plan, with a goal to accelerate commercialisation and licensing of its technology,” added Robb.