EDITOR: | January 15th, 2016 | 3 Comments

Scandium International to break scandium supply barrier

| January 15, 2016 | 3 Comments

REE-Handbook-Scandium-SC-InvestorIntelIn April 2015 the Wall Street Journal reported scandium as hot topic in the mining industry with an annual market worth roughly $50 million from 10-15 tons.

But shareholders of Scandium International Mining Corp. (TSX: SCY) are looking to break through the supply barrier by providing the element to support a market starved for steady supplies.

President and CEO, George Putnam, “The demand for scandium has accumulated over the last 30 years — the problem is there is no supply to feed it. There’s a long list of potential applications for scandium if there was the scandium to supply these applications.”

My friends who are material scientists in the aluminum sector tend to get excited by the mention of scandium — it is a rare thing to see material scientists excited. Currently, the aluminum market represents the best opportunity for scandium as the addition of small amounts of scandium to aluminum alloys increase its mechanical strength significantly. The same applies to the automotive industry, but the price point of commercial alloys in the automotive industry is critical, more so than in the aircraft industry.

But it does not mean that scandium is limited to the aluminum market by a long stretch. A search for scandium on Patentscope, the database of the World Intellectual Property Office shows 3874 patents with scandium. Of these, 971 patents mention both aluminum and scandium. For example patent WIPO20150303165 shows an electronic application with a bonding wire containing a core containing aluminum as a main component and scandium in an amount between 0.05% and 1.0%.

Still according to the Wall Street Journal: Scandium’s scarcity has limited its use. Estimates are that if enough scandium were found, the solid oxide fuel cell market would consume up to five times the scandium it currently does.

Aluminum-Scandium alloys are also used today in bicycles, golf clubs and other sporting accessories where both strength and lightness are important. These applications represent pioneering uses for aluminum-scandium alloys that should expand to a much wider range of applications, once adequate supplies of commercially priced scandium are available for purchase.

Current supply is sourced from low-grade stockpiles or as a by-product from other mineral processing operations. These limited supply sources have resulted in high market prices and inadequate volume for wide-scale adoption.

Although scandium is a common element, economic concentrations of scandium are rare. Estimates vary from 18 to 25 ppm, which is similar to cobalt (20–30 ppm) but is distributed sparsely and occurs in trace amounts in many minerals.

Scandium International Mining Corp. owns a 80% interest in the Nyngan Scandium Project, located in New South Wales, Australia, approximately 500 kilometers northwest of Sydney. The Company completed a preliminary economic assessment1 for the project in October 2014 and is focused on advancing the Nyngan Scandium Project to feasibility, with the objective of being the first company to achieve production from a primary scandium mine. Subject to financing, Scandium International expects to complete a feasibility study for the project in late 2015, with the objective of commencing mine construction in 2016 and scandium production in 2017. The Company owns two additional scandium exploration properties: the adjacent Honeybugle Scandium property in NSW, and the Tordal Scandium/REE property in southern Norway.

Dr. Luc Duchesne


Dr. Luc C. Duchesne is a Speaker and Author with a PhD in Biochemistry. With three decades of scientific and business experience, he has published ... <Read more about Dr. Luc Duchesne>

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  • Tracy Weslosky

    I would like to add that the reason I asked Dr. Duchesne to explore what’s happening with Scandium International Mining for us at InvestorIntel was that I noticed that TSX:SCY was up +52.63% in 2015…and Jack Lifton and Christopher Ecclestone told me that scandium was one of the “future metals” I should be watching more carefully. The CEO George Putnam is extremely knowledgeable and I have requested an interview with him on this market sector. Thank you Dr. Duchesne!

    January 15, 2016 - 9:23 AM

  • Ravi Dalchand

    Hi Tracy,

    It would be great to get an interview with John Kaiser and Chris Berry. Chris has talked about Scandium but has not gotten into the level of detail that John has, so it would be interesting to hear his perspective.

    As well we are hearing from newsletter writers and individuals from the supply side, however we haven’t seen or heard much from the end user side. Getting an interview or two from companies like Bloom Energy or Airbus would really shed some light on the huge pent up demand for Scandium to really understand the excitement on this transformational metal..

    January 18, 2016 - 12:51 PM

  • mike stevens

    Ihave invested in scandium shares for the last 7 years jrv pgm auz and followed clq all on the australianmaket. what do you think of the new player in the market(australian mines ltd?)claim

    April 1, 2017 - 7:06 PM

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