IperionX Limited (“IperionX” or “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has selected the Southern Virginia Technology Park, in Halifax County, Virginia, near the town of South Boston, as the preferred location for the development of America’s first 100% recycled, low carbon titanium manufacturing development (“Titanium Demonstration Facility”).
IperionX undertook an extensive site selection process across the continental U.S. to secure the ideal site for the development of the Titanium Demonstration Facility. Over 250 sites in over 30 states were evaluated for cost, site readiness, expansion capability, access to infrastructure and potential financial incentives.
Subject to completion of binding documentation, IperionX has selected a 50,000-square-foot site at the Southern Virginia Technology Park, in Halifax County, Virginia, near the town of South Boston.
The site at the Southern Virginia Technology Park provides IperionX with an excellent location to scale up its titanium metal production, with direct access to major highways, a large talent pool, high quality infrastructure and 100% renewable power. The state, county and local authorities have provided an attractive incentive package to locate the site in Halifax County, VA.
Virginia & Halifax Proposed Incentive Package
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Halifax County, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Department of Energy to develop an incentive package for IperionX to locate the Titanium Demonstration Facility in Halifax County Virginia.
The Governor of Virginia, Mr. Glenn Youngkin, has approved a US$300,000 grant from the Virginia Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Halifax County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a grant for US$573,000 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project.
The Company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Energy, and Virginia Clean Cities also oversee financial incentive programs that can support the Company’s commitment to decarbonization and the circular economy.
Further, the Halifax Industrial Development Authority (“Halifax IDA”) has proposed a construction allowance of US$4 million to upfit the site to meet the needs of the Titanium Demonstration Facility. The Halifax IDA would then provide a ten-year lease agreement to IperionX, with an estimated annual lease rate of just US$8.00 per square foot.
Final confirmation of the site selection and financial offer is subject to the negotiation and execution of a binding performance agreement between the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and IperionX, anticipated to be finalized in the coming months. In order to receive all proposed financial incentives, IperionX will be required to invest approximately US$82 million in production related machinery and tools and create 108 jobs within a 36 month timeframe.
Titanium Demonstration Facility Overview
The Titanium Demonstration Facility will be the first titanium manufacturing plant in the U.S. utilizing 100% recycled titanium scrap as feedstock, and is a critical step in advancing IperionX’s ambition to re-shore an all-American source of low carbon titanium metal. Phase 1 of the Titanium Demonstration Facility is expected to have an initial production capacity of 125 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of titanium metal powder in spherical or angular form. The current pricing for spherical titanium metal powders used in additive manufacturing applications today is approximately US$250 per kg.
The forecast capital cost to build the Phase 1 of the Titanium Demonstration Facility is US$20 million with an associated forecast operating cost of US$120kg. Development of the Titanium Demonstration Facility is anticipated to generate significant employment opportunities in the U.S., with a Phase 1 headcount estimate of 31 employees, estimated to scale to over 100 employees.
IperionX has commenced early design and engineering for a modular expansion of the Titanium Demonstration Facility to a commercial scale to meet potential market demand.
IperionX is assessing potential development funding pathways for Phase 1 of the Titanium Demonstration Facility, including both commercial and U.S. Government opportunities, such as funding through U.S. Federal budgets, U.S. Federal funding bills and specific U.S. Federal agency funding programs.
IperionX’s mission is to be the leading developer of low carbon, sustainable, critical material supply chains focused on advanced industries including space, aerospace, electric vehicles and 3D printing. IperionX’s breakthrough titanium technologies have demonstrated the potential to produce titanium products that are sustainable, 100% recyclable, have low carbon intensity and to do so at product qualities that meet or exceed current industry standards. IperionX is producing titanium metal powders from titanium scrap at its operational pilot facility in Utah, and will be rapidly scaling the production from this facility in 2022. The Company also holds a 100% interest in the Titan Project, covering approximately 11,100 acres of titanium, rare earth minerals, high grade silica sand and zircon rich mineral sands properties in Tennessee.
Anastasios (Taso) Arima, CEO and Managing Director said: “We are delighted to have chosen South Boston and Halifax County as the site for our inaugural titanium demonstration facility, which is a critical step in advancing IperionX’s ambition to re-shore an all-American source of titanium metal. We are highly appreciative of the support and welcome that we have received from our partners and stakeholders in Virginia and look forward to establishing IperionX as a leader in advanced manufacturing in our new home.”
Governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin said: “We are thrilled to welcome IperionX to the Commonwealth. The new Halifax County operation will represent the first titanium metal powder facility in the U.S. using 100% recycled titanium scrap as feedstock, putting Virginia on the map for providing a critical material that is essential for our advanced industries. We look forward to supporting this forward-thinking company that will develop a new supply chain of titanium right here in the Commonwealth while creating high-quality jobs.”
U.S. Senator for Virginia, Tim Kaine said: “IperionX Limited’s expansion in Halifax County will create over 100 new jobs and help boost economic development in Southside. My office was glad to be involved with interfacing with the Department of Defense to identify opportunities to expand this business in Virginia and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of this move in the future.”
U.S. Senator for Virginia, Mark Warner said: “I am proud that Virginia will be home to a state-of-the-art titanium demonstration facility that will shore up domestic supply chains for emerging technology in a forward-thinking, sustainable way while creating jobs and opportunities in Halifax County.”