IperionX Limited (NASDAQ: IPX, ASX: IPX), a pioneering force in sustainable titanium production, is thrilled to announce a significant milestone in its journey to revolutionize the titanium industry. The U.S. Department of Defense (U.S. DoD) has confirmed a substantial investment of US$12.7 million in funding under the Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III authorities. This strategic funding is aimed at addressing and mitigating vulnerabilities in the U.S. titanium supply chain.
This funding, coupled with the potential for an additional US$11.5 million in equipment financing through the Export-Import Bank of the United States ("EXIM Bank") initiatives, positions IperionX at the forefront of re-shoring U.S. domestic titanium production. The company is set to expedite the development of its state-of-the-art titanium production facility located in Halifax County, Virginia.
The U.S. DoD has conducted thorough due diligence on IperionX’s innovative titanium metal technologies throughout the application and contracting process. This included a site visit to IperionX’s operational pilot plant in Utah by U.S. DoD representatives, underscoring the government’s commitment and interest in IperionX’s capabilities.
The U.S. currently faces a significant dependency on foreign nations for its titanium supply, importing over 95% of the titanium sponge required for its defense sector. IperionX’s mission is to reverse this trend, aiming to re-shore a complete titanium supply chain to the U.S., thereby enhancing the resilience of the titanium supply chain for critical defense and advanced industries.
The US$12.7 million grant from the U.S. DoD will be strategically utilized to establish a 125 metric tons per annum titanium production facility in Halifax County, Virginia, with the first production anticipated in 2024. Post-commissioning, IperionX plans to swiftly expand the facility’s capacity to 1,125 metric tons per annum, adopting a modular development approach at the Virginia site.
Since the 1940s, the mass production of titanium has predominantly relied on the energy-intensive and high-cost Kroll Process, which also results in substantial greenhouse gas emissions. IperionX is set to change this narrative with its breakthrough titanium production technologies, which promise high-strength titanium production at lower costs and with zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Titanium’s exceptional strength-to-weight ratio, along with its resistance to high temperatures and corrosion, makes it an indispensable material for numerous U.S. defense systems and a variety of demanding applications across aerospace, space, medical, consumer electronics, additive manufacturing, hydrogen, and automotive sectors.
IperionX stands uniquely positioned to deliver a comprehensive U.S. titanium supply chain, extending from titanium mineral production to the manufacturing of high-performance titanium products. The company’s innovative approach also includes the capability to utilize 100% recycled scrap titanium, producing a diverse range of titanium products such as powder, ingots, bars, and plates with higher energy efficiency, lower costs, and reduced environmental impacts.
Dr. Laura Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy said: “Titanium is critical to the basic Warfighting capability of the United States. Domestic titanium production is a top priority for the DoD’s industrial base programs.”
Anastasios (Taso) Arima, IperionX CEO said: “Titanium for the U.S. defense sector is currently sourced over long distances from foreign nations. We are pleased to receive this award from the U.S. DoD that will assist IperionX to re-shore a lower-cost, more sustainable and fully integrated U.S. titanium supply chain that is critical to America’s national security.”
IperionX aims to become a leading American titanium metal and critical materials company – using patented metal technologies to produce high performance titanium alloys, from titanium minerals or scrap titanium, at lower energy, cost and carbon emissions.