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KRO Scandium Resource Center


KRO Scandium Resource Center
The KRO Scandium Resource Center is designed to help investors get acquainted with scandium and get quick access to scandium related comments published on Kaiser Research Online. Scandium is for aluminum the counterpart of what niobium has become for steel. When alloyed in small amounts with aluminum and steel respectively scandium and niobium bestow strength in addition to other properties such as corrosion resistance. Greater strength reduces the volume of aluminum or steel needed to meet strength specifications, which is important for anything that moves because weight costs energy. Scandium and niobium are thus "lightweighting" champions, which appeals not just to people concerned about climate change mitigation, but also anybody concerned about fuel costs. The difference between niobium and scandium is that since the sixties niobium supply has grown to 59,500 tonnes in 2019 worth about $3 billion, whereas scandium output is estimated at 15-25 tonnes of scandium oxide worth no more than $50 million. Although scandium is more abundant in the earth's crust than lead, its nature as a "dispersoid", what makes it such a holy grail for aluminum, inhibits concentration. As a result there are no current primary scandium mines as there are for niobium; all supply is non-scalable by-product from rare earth mines, nickel-cobalt laterite mines, titanium dioxide waste stream stripping, and uranium processes. The only historic primary mine was the Zhovti Vody mine in the Ukraine operated by the Soviets which used Al-Sc alloy in their Mig fighter jets. At a grade of only 130 ppm Zhovti Vody ceased production when the USSR collapsed. Although abundant resources with 40-60 ppm Sc exist, the high recovery cost results in a product far too expensive for utilization as an aluminum alloy. The situation changed in the mid nineties when unusual laterites enriched to 300-600 ppm where discovered in Australia. At least 4 projects have been taken through feasibility with plans to sell scandium oxide at $1,500-$2,000 per kg, but none have achieved commercial production as primary scandium mines due to the chicken-egg problem. What comes first: the CapEx funding or the filled offtake order book? Financiers won't put up capital without guaranteed revenue for the output, and end-users won't commit to using a new material that won't arrive until a mine is commissioned a couple years later and, something that is a risk with chemical plants, maybe won't be available at the price agreed on because it doesn't work as expected (think of Molycorp's $1.6 billion rebuild of the Mountain Pass rare earth mine). To appreciate why the chicken-egg problem defeated even Robert Friedland just listen to the experts below in the segment from Market Scams: how to protect your investment. It is an under-statement to say that scandium juniors have had a rough time, which is why SCY loaned John Kaiser an Al-Sc armor plate it had developed for defense applications.
The last junior to make a serious effort was Scandium International Mining Corp which in early 2018 embarked on a campaign to work with a dozen plus disclosed and undisclosed potential end-users to demonstrate how Al-Sc alloy could be incorporated into their product lines. During 2018 SCY released a very important graphic which revealed their understanding of the relative size of various end-uses, when during the supply evolution cycle they were most likely to kick in, and the degree of price sensitivity. This was an eye-opener because most of the hype during the past decade had focused on making airplanes lighter and feeding new technologies like Bloom Energy's solid oxide fuel cell. Because of the engineering and certification cycles aircraft would be among the last adopters, while Bloom Box sales never took off as expected.
KRO converted the future demand bubble chart into a pie chart of what the usage breakdown would look like a decade later when demand had evolved to 1,000 tpa. There was a much greater diversity of potential uses than juniors had typically portrayed in their corporate presentations including uses as mundane as beer cans.
But where would the supply come from? KRO created a graphic which shows how the different usages would evolve and from where future supply might come from, both primary sources and by-product sources.
Alas, after two years pursuing its LOI strategy SCY had not reported a single offtake agreement despite many press releases about successful demonstration of Al-Sc alloy uses. The chicken-egg problem appeared hopeless but in early 2020 two unrelated solutions emerged which have the potential to launch scandium demand growth over the next decade towards a 1,000 tpa market worth $2 billion. The first development was that Rio Tinto has learned to recover scandium at its Sorel-Tracy facility in Quebec where it produces a titanium slag from its iron-titanium Lac Tio deposit, one of two such bedrock sourced titanium mines in the world (the rest of the world's titanium comes from heavy mineral sands which are not an enriched source of scandium). The Lac Tio ore has a scandium content of 30-50 ppm which mostly reports to the titanium slag after a furnace turns all the ore, including the ilmenite, into a melt from which the iron is recovered. For decades Rio Tinto has sold the leftover 80% TiO2 slag product to pigment makers who use the sulfate process. But pigment makers have been shifting to the chloride process which requires a feedstock in the 90%-95% TiO2 range. Necessity forced Rio Tinto to develop an upgrading step out of which came the ability to separate scandium. How much has not been disclosed, but at the current production rate Lac Tio could generate as much as 50 tonnes of scandium oxide annually, somewhat more than the 35 tpa SCY planned to produce initially from its Nyngan primary scandium deposit in Australia. But while a primary mine is an all or nothing proposal, Rio Tinto need recover only as much scandium as its Alcan aluminum division wants. The key to cracking the chicken-egg problem is to be able to increase scandium supply incrementally in response to gradual demand evolution, without a significant CapEx investment for that purpose, something that is not possible from by-product operations by their nature nor from primary operations because of the chicken-egg problem. The Rio Tinto development is thus a game changer for launching a cycle of aluminum-scandium alloy adoption by end-users which will get global supply to a critical mass where new primary supply is not bigger than existing supply.
The second development that is a parallel game changer was an application filed in late 2019 by SCY for a patent protecting a method for recovering scandium and other metals from the waste stream of copper oxide leaching operations. SCY's CTO, Willen Duyvestyn, who has a background in copper leaching for SX-EW operations and ion exchange technology spent much of 2019 securing copper raffinate samples from various American copper mines and developing methods to recover other elements besides copper which otherwise end up back on the heap leach pile where they ultimately remain when the copper is depleted. SCY had figured out how to make master Al-Sc alloy, but it was becoming clear from the LOI collaboration with end-users that they wanted bigger samples, and a meaningful supply during the construction period while they engaged in a staged rollout of Al-Sc alloy based product lines. SCY wanted to build a small melt shop capable of producing 1-2 tonnes of master alloy daily, but needed a scandium oxide supply. Procuring such a supply from China was conceivable, but not sustainable once the Chinese figured out SCY's strategy. China is the world's biggest aluminum producer and has the world's greatest lightweighting need for a transportation fleet it was converting from gasoline to electric but charging with coal powered electricity. The copper raffinate tests revealed there was enough recoverable scandium using SCY's patent pending process to play the same incremental supply growth role as Rio Tinto's recovery of scandium from its titanium upgrading slag. This development was announced in early May and the market is now waiting for SCY to secure a deal with one or more of the copper oxide miners, among whom Freeport is the giant with 7 operations in the United States. If this works SCY could do similar deals with copper oxide mines around the world. The idea is that SCY would be the buyer of the scandium output to feed its master alloy melt shop while a range of other metals with varying purities such as cobalt would be sold by the waste stream cleaning JV to the highest bidders, which could attract ESG premiums for metals such as cobalt whose possible conflict source is a marketing problem for users such as Apple. It could also serve as a transitional solution to America's critical minerals supply problem that looms if the deglobalization trend leads to a New Cold War with China (see the Metal Criticality Center for geographical supply concentration problems). Conditions are finally right for scandium to become the ideal lightweighting solution for aluminum.
External Scandium Related Online Resources
Online ResourcesComment
Wikipedia on ScandiumLots of technical detail about the element scandium.
USGS on Rare EarthsThe under-funded and neglected US Geological Survey publishes annual and interim overviews of a wide range of metals and industrial minerals. Joe Gambogi has taken over rare earths and scandium from James Hedrick.

Key Publicly Listed Companies with Primary Scandium Deposits

Primary Scandium Companies - Market Activity for August 4, 2020
Company Free Volume Value High Low Close Chg
Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ-ASX) 29,540,792 $590,816 $0.021 $0.019 $0.019 ($0.006)
Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd (CLQ-ASX) 654,246 $111,222 $0.175 $0.165 $0.165 $0.005
Imperial Mining Group Ltd (IPG-V) 111,200 $10,286 $0.095 $0.090 $0.095 $0.005
Platina Resources Ltd (PGM-ASX) 1,031,908 $52,111 $0.053 $0.048 $0.048 $0.000
Scandium Intl Mining Corp (SCY-T) 111,500 $14,774 $0.140 $0.125 $0.125 $0.005

Australian Mines Ltd (AUZ-ASX) Web SiteTreeForumSEDARQuoteFREE
Clean TeQ Holdings Ltd (CLQ-ASX) Web SiteTreeForumSEDARQuoteFREE
Jul 31, 2020News: Asset Write Down Expected
Jul 2, 2020News: Capital Structure Update
Jun 25, 2020News: Tianjin BIOCLENS Factory Successfully Commissioned
May 14, 2020Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:01
Mar 20, 2020News: Update on Business Impacts of COVID 19
Mar 9, 2020News: Progresses HiROx water treatment plant proposal with Townsville City Council
Dec 19, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Dec 19, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:01
Jun 25, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:21:24
Mar 2, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:15:32
Feb 2, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:47
Dec 15, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Oct 13, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:12:48
Oct 10, 2017Special Interest Comment: Scandium disappears from Syerston's new cobalt-nickel resource
Oct 10, 2017SVH Tracker: SCY wraps up 100% of Nyngan and Honeybugle projects
May 5, 2017SVH Tracker: Scandium International receives New South Wales mining lease for Nyngan
Mar 3, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Feb 28, 2017SVH Tracker: SCY mining lease for Nyngan awaiting completion of NSW department reorganization
Feb 24, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:09:26
Feb 17, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:12:29
Nov 9, 2016Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:12:59
Oct 13, 2016Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:14:12
Oct 11, 2016SVH Tracker: Is the scandium race between SCY and CLQ as close as it looks?
May 16, 2016KMW Blog May 16, 2016: The Motley Fool's Foolish Takeway
May 6, 2016KMW Blog May 6, 2016: Nearsighted vs Farsighted: which is Friedland and which is you?
Apr 18, 2016SVH Tracker: Positive DFS launches Scandium Intl into development stage
Jul 11, 2015Excerpt from Express 2015-03: SVH 2015 April-June Review - Scandium intl & Clean TeQ
May 4, 2015SVH Tracker: Scandium buzz attracts attention of the regulators
Apr 14, 2015Excerpt from Express 2015-02: February-March Review - Scandium Intl & Niocorp
Imperial Mining Group Ltd (IPG-V) Web SiteTreeForumSEDARQuoteFREE
Jul 28, 2020News: Commences Phase III Scandium Metallurgical Work Program, Crater Lake Project, Quebec
Jul 23, 2020News: Closing of Second and Final Tranche of a Private Placement of Shares
Jul 21, 2020Tracker: Spec Value Rating for Imperial Mining Group Ltd (IPG-V)
Jul 9, 2020News: Private Placement Non Brokered
Jun 23, 2020News: Closing First Tranche of a Private Placement
May 5, 2020News: Opawica Project Drilling Confirms Presence of Gold in the Central Zone Shear Structure
Platina Resources Ltd (PGM-ASX) Web SiteTreeForumSEDARQuoteFREE
Sep 20, 2014Blog September 20, 2014: A Rant about the Fallout if Goldman Sachs gets what it wants
Sep 19, 2014Special Interest Comment: Platina's Owendale scandium deposit attracts attention from Bloom's Chinese scandium suppliers
Scandium Intl Mining Corp (SCY-T) RSWeb SiteTreeForumSEDARQuoteFREE
Aug 3, 2020Tracker: Whats Next for Scandium Interantional Mining Corp?
Jul 31, 2020Tracker: Spec Value Rating Overview for Scandium International Mining Corp
Jun 9, 2020News: Voting Results of Annual General Meeting
May 28, 2020Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:01
May 14, 2020Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:22:35
May 13, 2020News: Seeks Copper Industry Partner To Demonstrate Scandium, Cobalt, And Other Critical Metals Recovery Technology
Apr 23, 2020Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:54
Apr 21, 2020News: Receives Favorable Government Notice on Nyngan Mining Lease Landowner Objection
Feb 27, 2020News: Joint Program With ECK Industries To Demonstrate Impacts Of Cerium And Scandium Additions In Aluminum Alloys
Feb 24, 2020News: Completes Program to Demonstrate AL SC Master Alloy Manufacture Capability
Feb 6, 2020Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:15:06
Dec 19, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:08:05
Nov 21, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:18:45
Jul 25, 2019Tracker: Now that a mining lease has been restored, can SCY fill the order book in H2 of 2019?
Jul 24, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:19:46
May 22, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:10:01
May 15, 2019Tracker: SCY files new Nyngan mining lease application that exclude's Carter's "argicultural land"
Apr 18, 2019Tracker: Has Owen Carter overplayed his Nyngan hand?
Feb 8, 2019Tracker: Spec Value Rating for Scandium Intl Mining Corp (SCY-T)
Jan 8, 2019Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Jan 2, 2019Tracker: Lump of coal with a silver lining shows up in SCY's stocking
Dec 18, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:24:31
Dec 4, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:16:56
Oct 2, 2018SVH Tracker: Understanding the bubble potential of scandium and its leading winner takes all contender
Oct 2, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Sep 25, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:20:03
Aug 28, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:56
Jul 26, 2018KMW Blog Jul 26, 2018: INN's Priscila Barrera interviews John Kaiser at the Sprott Natural Resources Symposium
Jun 7, 2018SVH Tracker: Why would SCY choose now to reveal its closely guarded scandium marketing strategy?
Apr 30, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:14:09
Apr 23, 2018SVH Tracker: Scandium International attracts first visible institutional investor
Mar 12, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:20
Mar 9, 2018SVH Tracker: SCY launches end-run around the master-alloy bottleneck
Feb 2, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:23:32
Jan 31, 2018SVH Tracker: Third letter of intent by SCY targets 3 series brazed aluminum heat exchanger market
Jan 26, 2018Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Jan 24, 2018SVH Tracker: Funny thing about SCY is that for every capitulator there is a buyer
Dec 15, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:11:52
Dec 1, 2017SVH Tracker: Is scandium turning the magnesium ion battery into a death star for the lithium ion battery?
Oct 10, 2017Special Interest Comment: Scandium disappears from Syerston's new cobalt-nickel resource
Oct 10, 2017SVH Tracker: SCY wraps up 100% of Nyngan and Honeybugle projects
Sep 30, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:02:45
Sep 26, 2017SVH Tracker: Scandium International to acquire Finnish scandium deposit
Sep 22, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:07:10
Sep 12, 2017SVH Tracker: Shareholders approve 20% Nyngan acquisition
Aug 18, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:05:07
Aug 17, 2017SVH Tracker: Things don't sizzle during Australia's winter but they do when winter gives way to summer
Jun 16, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Jun 15, 2017SVH Tracker: A Scandium Summer has begun
Jun 9, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:11:41
May 12, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
May 5, 2017SVH Tracker: Scandium International receives New South Wales mining lease for Nyngan
Apr 28, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:43
Apr 25, 2017SVH Tracker: Will afternoon tea in New South Wales be refreshing or bitter on May 8?
Mar 17, 2017SVH Tracker: The importance of SCY positioning itself as a downstream Al-Sc master alloy producer
Mar 10, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:47
Feb 28, 2017SVH Tracker: SCY mining lease for Nyngan awaiting completion of NSW department reorganization
Jan 17, 2017SVH Tracker: Recommendation Strategy for Scandium International Mining Corp
Jan 13, 2017Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:13:48
Dec 30, 2016Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:17:00
Nov 18, 2016Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:00:00
Nov 11, 2016SVH Tracker: Nyngan development consent launches SCY sprint to the finish line of a mining lease
Nov 9, 2016Discovery Watch with HoweStreet.com - 0:15:32
Oct 11, 2016SVH Tracker: Is the scandium race between SCY and CLQ as close as it looks?
May 16, 2016KMW Blog May 16, 2016: The Motley Fool's Foolish Takeway
May 6, 2016KMW Blog May 6, 2016: Nearsighted vs Farsighted: which is Friedland and which is you?
Apr 18, 2016SVH Tracker: Positive DFS launches Scandium Intl into development stage
Feb 10, 2016SVH Tracker: Recommendation Strategy for Scandium International Mining Corp
Oct 14, 2015SVH Tracker: Scandium International secures non-dilutive USD $2 million royalty deal
Aug 31, 2015SVH Tracker: Recommendation Strategy for Scandium International Mining Corp
Aug 24, 2015SVH Tracker: SCY eliminates default risk, fuels up for DFS delivery, and lands a Bechtel man
Jul 11, 2015Excerpt from Express 2015-03: SVH 2015 April-June Review - Scandium intl & Clean TeQ
May 14, 2015SVH Tracker: BCSC Review leaves fundamental outlook for scandium and Nyngan unchanged
May 4, 2015SVH Tracker: Scandium buzz attracts attention of the regulators
Apr 14, 2015Excerpt from Express 2015-02: February-March Review - Scandium Intl & Niocorp
Mar 30, 2015SVH Tracker: Scandium International scores scandium oxide offtake agreement
Feb 17, 2015SVH Tracker: Recommendation Strategy for Scandium International Mining Corp
Oct 14, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: EMC delivers robust PEA for Nyngan scandium mine
Sep 20, 2014Blog September 20, 2014: A Rant about the Fallout if Goldman Sachs gets what it wants
Sep 19, 2014Special Interest Comment: Platina's Owendale scandium deposit attracts attention from Bloom's Chinese scandium suppliers
Jul 15, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: Recommendation Strategy for EMC Metals Corp
Jul 2, 2014Blog July 2, 2014: Understanding the Junior Resource Sector Bear Market
Jun 26, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: EMC secures Nyngan title and first mover status in the emerging Scandium Rush
May 22, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: EMC announces $3 million private placement at $0.085
May 7, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: Honeybugle scandium discovery solves EMC's funding-valuation catch-22 problem
Apr 23, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: Appendix only - Recommendation Strategy for EMC Metals Corp
Apr 23, 2014Spec Value Hunter Comment: Recommendation Strategy for EMC Metals Corp
Sep 18, 2013Spec Value Hunter Comment: $5 million Springer sale clears hostile debts and flashes a green light for the scandium story
Jun 27, 2013Spec Value Hunter Comment: EMC keeps Nyngan scandium story alive and partly fixes balance sheet
Feb 6, 2013Spec Value Hunter Comment: EMC scores 100% of Nyngan through out of court settlement with Jervois
Dec 27, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: Recommendation Strategy for EMC Metals Corp
Nov 7, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: EMC offers to buy Nyngan from Jervois for $1.3 million and a royalty capped at $6,750,000
Oct 11, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: Bloom offers Jervois $4 million for Nyngan which goes to trial on February 4, 2013
Sep 21, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: Reading beyond the EMC's Springer PEA
Sep 10, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: Recommendation Strategy for EMC Metals Corp
Jun 27, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: Jervois files lawsuit to have EMC lien removed from Nyngan project
Feb 29, 2012Spec Value Hunter Comment: Act of bad faith by Jervois on Nyngan unleashes Springer tungsten play
Oct 31, 2011Tracker 2011-06: Recommendation Strategy for EMC Metals Corp
Jun 21, 2011Bottom-Fish Comment: EMC back in bottom-fishing range
Apr 29, 2011Bottom-Fish Comment: EMC acquires scandium project in Norway
Feb 14, 2011Bottom-Fish Comment: EMC scandium story on track
Nov 8, 2010Tracker 2010-15: Scandium - neither fraudium nor scamium and unobtainium for not much longer

 
 

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