Scandium demand rises as sustainable reliable supplies are sought
Scandium International Mining Corp. aims to become one of leaders in global scandium market: “Demand is there already, it is simply waiting for adequate, sustainable, reliable supply at prices that make commercial sense.”
Amid the ever growing global demand for scandium, Scandium International Mining Corp. (TSX: SCY) a Canadian-based mining company, plans to significantly increase its production and to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of the metal to the global market.
In recent years global demand for scandium has significantly increased, however its annual volume of production remains very limited.
According to analysts of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, the current global demand for scandium is estimated at about 10 tonnes per year, with a possibility of a significant increase during the next several years, that will be mainly driven by the demand from aerospace, aviation and military industries.
This provides good opportunities for growth to Scandium International Mining Corp., which implements several projects in the field of scandium production.
Nyngan Scandium Project remains the priority project for the company and involves the development of the world’s first primary scandium mine.
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The project, which is located in NSW, approximately 500 kilometers northwest of Sydney, Australia is planned for a 2016 start of construction and production in early 2017.
The Project has the potential to produce 35,975 kilograms of scandium oxide (scandia) per annum, at grades of 97%-99%, generating an after tax cumulative cash flow over a 20 year Project life of US$565 million, with an NPV10% of US$175 million.
In addition to Nyngan Project, the company’s portfolio includes two other projects, and in particular the Honeybugle Scandium property, which is also located in NSW, and the Tordal Scandium/REE property in southern Norway.
At the same time, in addition to the already existing scandium projects, the company has not ruled out the possibility of further international expansion during the next several years.
George Putnam, CEO of Scandium International Mining Corp., comments:
“We have surveyed other areas generally for scandium, and there are definitely a number of different possible sources. Certainly Russia and Ukraine are two of those, and the interest in scandium there is strong because the understanding of scandium and its applications is quite clear. We like Australian resources because the grades are simply better than we see elsewhere, the resources are formed such that they can be large and easy to recover, and Australia is a mining-friendly place to develop a mineral business.”
Putnam has also said that scandium production will remain a primary mission for the next several years, however the company will keep an eye for other rare earth metal opportunities.
The company predicts bright prospects for the global scandium market, as the demand for scandium will continue to grow in the near future.
George Putnam comments:
“In the short term, more small batches of scandium will continue to reach the market from waste stream processors and recovery circuits on existing mineral process facilities, encouraging more diverse applications. Demand is there already, it is simply waiting for adequate, sustainable, reliable supply at prices that make commercial sense.”
Eugene Gerden is an international free-lance writer, based in St. Petersburg, who specializes on writing in the field of mining, metals and rare earth metals. ... <Read more about Eugene Gerden>