Rio Tinto produces first North American scandium oxide

May 25, 2022

Rio Tinto has reported that its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Québec, Canada, has produced its first batch of high-purity scandium oxide. The company is now reported as the first North American producer of this mineral, used to produce aluminium-scandium alloys, for the Additive Manufacturing sector, as well as being critical in improving the performance of solid oxide fuel cells.

The RTFT team has completed commissioning activities and is now focusing on production ramp up to bring the plant to three tonnes of scandium oxide per year (approximately 20% of the global market). The company is also considering near-term expansion options to increase production capacity in line with market demand.

“We are very proud of this first production of scandium oxide,” stated Stéphane Leblanc, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium. “This is a key milestone in the development of a secure supply of scandium, demonstrating our ability to de-risk the global supply chain for this critical mineral.”

To produce this result, a process developed by RTFT was used to extract high-purity scandium oxide from the waste streams of titanium dioxide production, without the need for any additional mining.

“With this breakthrough process creating value from waste, Rio Tinto Fer et Titane’s ambition is to become a key supplier in the global scandium market,” Leblanc continued. “I want to congratulate our employees who brought this project from the drawing board to commercial demonstration in less than two years.”

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Phoenix Sintered Metals: A story of transformation, growth and community from America’s PM heartland
  • World PM2024 Yokohama: The stage is set for the PM industry to find a path to sustainable growth
  • The state of Europe’s hard magnets industry and the challenge of optimising the mass production of Nd2Fe14B permanent magnets

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link