Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX: CLQ) has entered into a collaboration agreement with Panasonic Corporation to develop scandium aluminium alloys for Panasonic’s consumer and electronics product lines using Clean TeQ’s scandium from its Sunrise project in New South Wales.
Under the agreement, Clean TeQ will support the research and development team within Panasonic’s Global Procurement Company in investigating the functional and commercial benefits of using scandium aluminium alloys for certain applications in consumer and electronic products.
Clean TeQ said the collaboration is consistent with its long-term strategy to work with established industry players in the investigation and development of new applications for scandium-aluminium alloys.
The company aims to stimulate growth in demand for the material which will be converted into sales of scandium from its Sunrise nickel-cobalt-scandium project once it is in operation.
Chief executive officer Sam Riggall welcomed the collaboration.
“We are pleased to have initiated this relationship with Panasonic and hope that it will result in new design and engineering opportunities for [the corporation’s] diverse product range,” he said.
Clean TeQ and Panasonic have also signed a binding scandium offtake agreement which will see Clean TeQ supply up to 5 tonnes per annum of scandium oxide from Sunrise over a maximum 10-year term.
The parties have agreed a fixed price for the product and annual volumes are yet to be determined by Panasonic.
Sunrise is considered to be one of the world’s largest and most advanced nickel-cobalt laterite projects.
While it is primarily being developed as a major global producer of nickel and cobalt sulphates – both key cathode materials for the electric vehicle battery market – the project also hosts one of the world’s largest and highest-grade scandium deposits.
This positions Clean TeQ to become a major supplier of low-cost scandium for the production of next-generation lightweight aluminium alloys for use in the aerospace, automotive and consumer products industries.
Mr Riggall said the company is already seeing strong interest in scandium-aluminium alloys worldwide.
“Scandium allows us to create a new generation of aluminium alloys with unrivalled functionality – alloys which are stronger, lighter, corrosion-resistant and weldable,” he said.
“As the largest resource in the world of this rare metal, Sunrise is expected to become an important source of global supply for decades to come.”
The news spurred Clean TeQ’s share price up more than 22% to trade at $0.245 by midday.