Rio Tinto opens new Canadian scandium plant

June 26, 2021

Rio Tinto has begun production of high-quality scandium oxide at a new commercial scale demonstration plant at its Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, Canada. Commissioning work is now being undertaken as production ramps up to a capacity of three tonnes of scandium oxide per year, using a process developed at RTFT that extracts the oxide from waste streams of titanium oxide production, without requiring any additional mining.

The $6 million project, for which the Government of Quebec contributed approximately $650,000 through the Quebec Plan for the Development of Critical and Strategic Minerals, was completed on time and on budget, fewer than six months after construction began. Six employees have been hired to operate the plant.

“For the first time, customers will benefit from a North American supply of scandium oxide for applications in solid oxide fuel cells, lasers, lighting products or as an additive to produce high-performance alloys,” stated Stéphane Leblanc, Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium Managing Director. “In less than two years, we have gone from testing a process to extract this critical material in a lab to being able to supply approximately 20% of the global market. This is a testament to our team’s capacity to think outside the box and deliver on our commitments.”

Jonatan Julien, the province’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, added “I am very pleased to see this major critical and strategic minerals project come to fruition in Québec. It will help strengthen the security of our supply and add value to our industrial waste from the mining sector. It is also consistent with the government’s vision of creating wealth in a greener economy. I wish Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium and the team at this new plant every success!”

The project is part of an ongoing series by Rio Tinto’s Critical Minerals and Technology Centre in the field of critical minerals and materials. Another recent development in this series was the launch of a water atomised steel powder for Additive Manufacturing. Rio Tinto is also well positioned to produce aluminium-scandium alloys; in March, the company announced an agreement to supply this alloy from its North American operations to Australian AM parts and services provider Amaero.

www.riotinto.com

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Metal powders in Additive Manufacturing: An exploration of sustainable production, usage and recycling
  • Inside Wayland Additive: How innovation in electron beam PBF is opening new markets for AM
  • An end-to-end production case study: Leveraging data-driven machine learning and autonomous process control in AM
  • Consolidation, competition, and the cost of certification: Insight from New York’s AM Strategies 2024
  • Scandium’s impact on the Additive Manufacturing of aluminium alloys
  • AM for medical implants: An analysis of the impact of powder reuse in Powder Bed Fusion

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap