IBC and NioCorp Announce Successful Completion of Initial Casting Campaign for Aluminum-Scandium Alloys
WILMINGTON, Mass., Dec. 28, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IBC Advanced Alloys (TSX-V:IB) (OTCQB:IAALF) ("IBC") and NioCorp Developments Ltd. (TSX:NB) (OTCQX:NIOBF) (FSE:BR3) ("NioCorp") (collectively the "Companies") today announced the successful manufacture of several aluminum-scandium alloy ingots. These test pours occurred at IBC's Wilmington, Massachusetts Engineered Materials facility using scandium purchased commercially by NioCorp.
The ingots, representing a range of scandium content, will now undergo chemical analysis and other metallurgical testing to confirm the microstructure and performance of the alloys. This testing is the basis for commercializing Aluminum-Scandium alloys.
"I am very pleased with the successful execution by Chris Huskamp and his team of this initial production campaign, and we look forward to reviewing the results of follow-on testing to confirm material specifications," said Major General Duncan ("David") Heinz (USMC, ret.), IBC's President and CEO. "This is a significant milestone in our joint development effort with NioCorp to seed the market in order to unlock the enormous value of scandium in a wide range of high-performance applications across multiple markets."
"This is an exciting launch of what could be a new phase of commercial operations for both IBC and for NioCorp," said Mark A. Smith, who serves as Chair of IBC's Board and is Executive Chair and CEO of NioCorp. "Developing high-performance alloys and processes that incorporate metals such as scandium requires significant expertise and know-how. The Board and I look forward to Chris' team continuing to advance this effort toward a potential launch of new commercial operations."
Alloys that incorporate scandium have been produced for more than 50 years for a wide variety of applications in the defense and civilian sectors. When combined with aluminum and other metals, for example, scandium helps to make a very strong and lightweight alloy material that can deliver significant performance enhancements, weight savings, fuel efficiency, and air emissions reductions in transportation systems. The former Soviet Union reportedly used scandium-bearing alloys in high-performance jet fighters and in other military aerospace systems.