Australian Mines (ASX: AUZ) has collared a research partnership with Indian research institution Amrita to develop new battery storage technologies that include scandium, which is present in Australian Mines’ flagship Sconi project in Queensland.
Amrita’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Green Technologies will collaborate with Australian Mines to evaluate the potential of using scandium-magnesium alloys in the next generation nickel metal hybrid batteries, as well as hydrogen storage applications.
According to Australian Mines, the research facility has become one of India’s fastest growing academic institutions.
The duo plans to assess whether the high-capacity ternary scandium-magnesium alloys will boost energy storage capacity in the batteries for use in the growing electric vehicle market.
“Under the research agreement, Australian Mines will retain all intellectual property rights generated through the collaboration, regardless of where, and by whom, the relevant IP has is created – potentially providing lasting value to the company’s shareholders from the future commercialisation of the applications, subject to the research and development partnership,” Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell noted.
The research collaboration will also evaluate hydrogen storage in the hybrid metal batteries. Australian Mines said this would offer a solution the increasing demand for storing large amounts of hydrogen, which provides higher energy use.
“We also recognise the emerging economics around hydrogen as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels and believe metal hybrid batteries could provide a storage solution for hydrogen, as they can be handled without extensive safety precautions, which is especially relevant when considering applications like hybrid and elect-powered trucks and heavy-haulage vehicles,” Mr Bell said.
The partnership with Amrita follows Australian Mines’ announced collaboration with UK-based Metalysis mid-year.
Under the partnership with Metalysis, Australian Mines will provide high-purity scandium-oxide to develop low-cost alloys comprising 30% scandium for automotive and aerospace industries.
Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project
A bankable feasibility study is nearing completion for Sconi, with project financing discussions ongoing.
The project has a global mineral resource of 89 million tonnes grading 0.58% nickel and 0.06% cobalt.
Sconi also has a scandium resource estimate of 7.2Mt at 177 grams per tonne scandium for 1,950t of contained scandium oxide.
“Australian Mines remains committed to delivering additional revenue from the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland through marketing the high-purity scandium oxide, which can be produced at minimal additional cost to the proposed cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate operation,” Mr Bell added.
Shares in Australian Mines shot up more than 15% in early morning trade to reach $0.045.