IperionX, the 3D printing materials company, receives an order for titanium plate from Lockheed.

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Title: IperionX Partners with Lockheed Martin to Revolutionize Titanium Supply Chains

Charlotte-based metals supplier IperionX has recently received an exciting order from defense giant Lockheed Martin for titanium plate components. This partnership marks a significant milestone for IperionX, as it enables the company to utilize its patented Hydrogen Sintering and Phase Transformation (HSPT) process to produce high-strength and corrosion-resistant plates. These plates offer comparable properties to traditional wrought titanium, while also reducing carbon emissions.

This order comes just days after IperionX announced that it had been granted two crucial permits for its Titan Project in west Tennessee. The Titan Project is home to the largest JORC-compliant resource of titanium and rare earth rich mineral sands in the US. The Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORC) Code, originating from Australia and New Zealand, is internationally recognized as one of the most influential reporting standards for the mining industry. The completion of all remaining regulatory requirements for the Titan Project is expected by the end of 2023.

The significance of IperionX’s operations lies in the fact that the US relies heavily on foreign markets for over 80 percent of its titanium supply. Additionally, with the growing demand for titanium in the US’s expanding supply chains for products like EV batteries, there is a need for a fully domestic titanium supply chain. This aligns perfectly with the Biden administration’s goal to reshore US defense supply chains.

IperionX’s CEO, Anastasios (Taso) Arima, emphasizes the importance of this collaboration with Lockheed Martin in the rapid commercialization of the company’s low-carbon titanium technologies. By utilizing patented processes that can use titanium minerals or scrap metal as feedstock, IperionX is able to manufacture high-quality titanium products at significantly lower costs and carbon footprints compared to existing production methods.

Lockheed Martin recognizes the value of reducing the cost of titanium components and how it can enhance the performance of their products. Through this order, Lockheed Martin will conduct an initial evaluation of the material quality and mechanical performance of IperionX’s titanium plates.

A recent report by S&P Global highlights the challenges faced by the US mining industry in meeting the demand for domestic EV metal supply. The competition for mineral supplies between the US, China, and Europe is becoming increasingly entangled with geopolitics. As a result, risk management methods are being incorporated into the foundation of new growth, such as the US’s domestic EV battery supply chain.

Lockheed Martin’s interest in companies like IperionX and their push for an AM Forward-centric small business investment fund (SBIF) are directly linked to this backdrop. Establishing the SBIF would allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to engage in business with companies like IperionX, enabling Lockheed Martin to have more control over their supply chains.

In conclusion, the partnership between IperionX and Lockheed Martin represents a significant leap forward in revolutionizing titanium supply chains. By incorporating low-carbon titanium technologies and reshoring defense supply chains, this collaboration sets the stage for a more sustainable and self-reliant future in the US. The ongoing developments in the mining industry and the increasing importance of mineral supply in geopolitics only strengthen the need for innovative solutions like those offered by IperionX and its partners.

(Image courtesy of IperionX)

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