IperionX gets permits for titanium metal manufacturing in Virginia

IperionX’s permitted titanium facility in Halifax County, VA – the location for both the planned TDF and TCF operations. Image credit: IperionX

ASX-listed IperionX Limited has secured all necessary permits to begin construction and operations at its planned titanium metal production facility in Virginia.

The Halifax County Service Authority issued the Industrial Wastewater Discharge permit, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality issued the New Source Review (air pollution) permit. 

These permits allow the TCF-1 capacity of 1,125 tpa of titanium metal to be scaled up within the current 50,000-square-foot shell facility in Halifax County, Virginia, the company said in a press release. 

All significant engineering work for the projected Stage 1 TDF is now complete, with critical long-lead-time equipment ordered and procurement started. 

The first titanium production is scheduled for Q1 2024, with IperionX aiming to reach a run rate of 125 tpa of titanium metal by Q3 2024. 

A modular Stage 2 expansion to the TCF-1 level is proposed, which would increase titanium production capacity to 1,125 tpa by the end of 2025. 

The TDF’s development is still subject to Board approval for a final investment decision, IperionX stated. 

The TDF and TCF-1 are based on a scaled-up version of IperionX’s current Industrial Pilot Facility in Salt Lake City, which has been operational since January 2022. 

IperionX has updated this plant and optimised operational processes in order to significantly boost titanium production capacity while improving efficiency and consistency.

“Securing all major permits is an important milestone in developing the world’s largest 100% recycled titanium plant and is a credit to the successful work of the IperionX development team, Halifax County, Virginia and regulatory agencies,” said Anastasios Arima, IperionX CEO. 

To date, the company has ambitions to construct the biggest titanium factory in the world and the only one that uses just titanium scrap metal as a feedstock. 

The titanium production facility in Virginia is planned to produce UL-validated 100 per cent recycled titanium metal powder with the lowest carbon intensity on the market and is designed to have zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

“IperionX is uniquely positioned to re-shore titanium metal production to the U.S.A., reducing the acute reliance on titanium imports from foreign nations and lowering the significant environmental impacts from producing titanium metal using the existing ‘Kroll Process’ – which is energy intensive, high cost and generates excessive greenhouse gas emission,” Arima stated.

With an expenditure of up to US$4 million, the Halifax County Development Authority will pay for the building fit-out work in order to get the process equipment installed in late 2024.

The CEO added, “IperionX has a pipeline of potential U.S. government funding programs and incentives that are designed to support domestic efforts to re-shore critical mineral and material supply chains.” 

“With the successful development of this project, IperionX will be the only commercial primary titanium metal producer in the U.S., with the capacity to deliver low carbon and low-cost titanium for advanced American industries,” Arima concluded.