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20/07/2024
Mining News

Scandium Canada Ltd. advances integrated scandium supply chain with breakthroughs in 3D printing and renewable energy applications

Scandium Canada Ltd. has announced significant strides in creating a comprehensive scandium supply chain, from extraction to diverse industrial applications. The company’s flagship Crater Lake project, located in northeastern Quebec, is emerging as a critical source of scandium, one of the few primary deposits of this rare metal globally. This initiative aims to secure a reliable supply of scandium, crucial for industries seeking to incorporate this valuable element into their production processes.

Developing a sustainable scandium market

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Guy Bourassa, CEO of Scandium Canada, emphasized the importance of developing a sustainable scandium ecosystem. “We strongly believe in the development of a scandium ecosystem, including multiple producers and users, to promote a sustainable scandium market,” said Bourassa. He highlighted that the progress at Crater Lake is a significant milestone towards creating an integrated supply chain, ensuring that scandium’s potential is fully realized.

Bourassa noted the critical role of developing new markets for aluminium-scandium alloys. “Potential users have hesitated to rely solely on foreign sources of scandium. By establishing domestic sources and integrating them into various industries, we can ensure a stable and reliable supply of this valuable material, encouraging broader adoption and innovation,” he explained.

Breakthroughs in 3D printing

Since 2021, Scandium Canada has been partnering with McMaster University to innovate in the field of 3D printing with aluminium-scandium powders. These proprietary powders, designed specifically by Scandium Canada, are intended for creating parts that are challenging to manufacture using traditional methods.

The collaboration has yielded significant progress, including the successful 3D printing of two aluminium alloys enhanced with scandium. Previous efforts were plagued by solidification cracking, a problem now resolved. This breakthrough has been documented and submitted for patent review, with potential patents pending. The company is actively engaged in discussions with industry stakeholders to test these 3D-printed products and evaluate their properties for various applications.

Innovative industrial applications

Scandium Canada has identified several industrial applications for aluminium-scandium alloys, notably in the solar energy sector. One promising use is in the frames of solar panels, where these alloys’ lightweight and high-strength characteristics could enhance performance and efficiency.

As the solar panel industry rapidly expands, driven by a push for renewable energy and reducing carbon footprints, there is an increasing demand for materials that can make solar panels lighter and more durable. Scandium Canada is currently designing test alloys to create complex profiles for solar panel frames. A major solar panel manufacturer is set to test these prototypes, and details of the agreement and testing programme will be shared as progress continues.

Growth of the solar photovoltaic industry

The global solar photovoltaic (PV) industry is experiencing substantial growth, driven by increased adoption of renewable energy and technological advancements. This expansion is crucial for reducing carbon emissions and providing sustainable energy solutions. Decreasing costs and improving efficiency of solar panels further fuel the industry’s growth, positioning solar energy as a pivotal element in the global energy landscape.

Commitment to innovation and sustainability

Scandium Canada is committed to driving innovation and sustainability through its fully integrated scandium supply chain. The company supports the future of renewable energy and advanced manufacturing technologies, ensuring that scandium’s unique properties are leveraged to their full potential.

By focusing on local sourcing and sustainable practices, Scandium Canada is paving the way for broader adoption of scandium across various industries, from renewable energy to advanced manufacturing, reinforcing its role as a key player in the scandium market and a supporter of sustainable development.

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