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NioCorp, IBC produce aluminum-scandium master alloy at Iowa laboratory

NioCorp Developments Ltd. and IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. produced an aluminum-scandium master alloy at the Ames Laboratory, a contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy in Iowa.

The companies intend to utilize the master alloy from this program for their ongoing efforts to develop specialty scandium-containing alloys or prototype products for potential commercial use, according to an Oct. 8 release.

NioCorp commercially purchased the scandium used to create the master alloy at the Ames Lab's Materials Preparation Center.

Aluminum-scandium master alloys are used to introduce scandium into casting and wrought aluminum-based alloys.

The two companies are operating under a joint development deal to investigate and develop applications for scandium-containing materials for downstream markets.

NioCorp is currently developing the Elk Creek critical minerals mine and processing facility in Nebraska, which is expected to produce more than 100 tonnes per year of scandium oxide when fully operational.