IperionX has completed a detailed engineering design for its planned 125 metric tonnes per annum (“tpa”) Titanium Demonstration Facility (TDF), which was announced in September 2022, and a Techno-Economic Assessment for an expansion into the company’s first Titanium Commercial Facility (TCF-1) of 1,125 tpa, located at the Southern Virginia Technology Park in Halifax County, Virginia.
The TDF and TCF-1 will utilize the Hydrogen Assisted Metallothermic Reduction (HAMR) technologies to produce titanium metal powder. Development of the TCF-1 to 1,125 tpa production capacity would furnish IperionX with the largest recycled titanium metal powder production capacity – the only titanium production facility using 100% titanium metal scrap as a feedstock. This will also reportedly be the only such facility with zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions with the lowest carbon intensity for any commercial titanium metal powder product.
“We have now developed plans for the world’s first and largest recycled titanium powder facility, with initial production from the first stage 125 tpa TDF forecast to come online in early 2024 with a simple and modular expansion to a 1,125 tpa TCF-1 by the end of 2025,” said Anastasios Arima, Co-founder, and CEO of IperionX.
“The pathway for the development of the TDF and TCF-1 build upon the learnings from our current Industrial Pilot Facility operations in Utah where we have been producing circular titanium metal since early 2022. The development of the TDF and TCF-1 will scale our production to commercial quantities of 100% recycled titanium metal while also reducing the cost providing the potential for titanium to compete on price with other metals, including stainless steel and aluminum,” continued Anastasios. “The US is a tier 1 fiscal and manufacturing operating environment with a large pipeline of government incentives potentially available to IperionX. We look forward to rapidly advancing our developments through 2023 and moving towards scaled-up production to secure a US supply chain of this critical metal.”
The TDF is expected to begin commissioning in Q4 2023, and be operational by Q1 2024 – targeting a run-rate of 125 tpa by Q3 2024. Development of the TDF remains subject to successful Board approval for a final investment decision, which is expected in Q3 2023.
The TDF is projected to initially produce ~15 tpa of spherical titanium metal powder and ~110 tpa of angular titanium metal powder. IperionX then plans to install additional equipment at the facility to allow for the operational flexibility to produce 125 tpa of either 100% angular titanium metal powder or 100% spherical titanium metal powder for an incremental capital cost of US$6.9 million. Cash costs for 125 tpa of spherical titanium powder production at the TDF are projected to be ~US$72/kg before contingencies.
The larger capacity TCF-1 could be operational by Q4 2025 if long lead time items are ordered in Q3 2024. The TCF-1 is designed to produce 1,125 tpa of angular or spherical titanium metal powder. Capital costs for this expansion would be ~US$70 million, with ~US$48 million needed for long lead time orders and the remaining ~US$22 million needed during commissioning in 2025.
Assuming a conservative spherical titanium metal powder price of ~US$130/kg (vs current estimated market pricing of ~US$200/kg), and using key operating assumptions, the TCF-1 has the potential to generate revenue of ~US$145 million and EBITDA of ~US$100 million in 2026.
More information, including detailed cost estimates, can be found here.