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Hyperion Executes Option Agreement to Acquire Leading Metals Technology Company


CHARLOTTE, N.C.–()–Hyperion Metals (ASX:HYM):

Overview

  • One year option to acquire Blacksand Technology, LLC (“Blacksand”), a leading advanced metals R&D company which has developed breakthrough patented technologies that can produce low carbon, low cost titanium metal and powders
  • The combination of Hyperion and Blacksand is transformational – bringing together two highly complementary organizations to establish a world-class advanced materials and critical minerals market leader
  • Blacksand was spun-out of the University of Utah in 2013 and, led by founder Dr. Zak Fang, along with Dr. Kesh Keshavan and Dr. Pei Sun, has achieved major milestones including;

    • Development of the HAMR process and other advanced metals technologies based on the scientific breakthrough by Dr. Fang linked to the hydrogen destabilization of metal oxides;
    • Development of 5 core patent families (over 40 patents worldwide) covering the supply chain from primary titanium metal production to downstream titanium manufacturing, focused on these technologies that can produce low cost and low carbon titanium and other critical metals;
    • Total investment of US$12m into the development of these patented technologies, including funding of over US$7 million from government agencies including ARPA-E/DOE, EERE/DOE, NSF, and NAVAIR/DOD;
    • The development and commissioning of a titanium metal powder production facility in Salt Lake City, Utah currently producing titanium powder for commercial qualification with prospective customers; and
    • The establishment of strong relationships within industry, including with major aerospace and defense companies and U.S. government agencies

Strategic Rationale

If Hyperion exercises its option to purchase Blacksand, Hyperion will have:

  • Established a world class advanced materials market leader with the potential to offer low cost, low carbon and sustainable all-American metal and critical mineral supply chain solutions
  • Best-in-class innovation capabilities with a leading U.S. based advanced materials R&D team supported by the world class University of Utah metallurgical engineering department
  • The potential to extend the research and development activities of the HAMR technology to rare earth metals, zirconium metals and other strategic metal powders
  • Ownership of an operational pilot titanium production facility in Utah, USA, that can upgrade titanium minerals, produce titanium metal and produce titanium spherical powders
  • Security and control over the patented Blacksand technologies, being the exclusive commercial licensing rights for more than 40 global patents focused on advanced metal production technologies
  • The benefit of over 8 years of research and development, with approximately US$12m of funding invested to date, including over US$7m from U.S. government agencies including ARPA-E/DOE, EERE/DOE, NSF, and NAVAIR/DOD
  • Life of technology cost benefits through a significantly reduced royalty rate on titanium sales

Anastasios (Taso) Arima, CEO and Managing Director said:

“The potential market size for a low carbon, lightweight, strong, heat resistant, corrosion free metal that can be 100% recycled is more than $270bn pa. That metal should be titanium.

Titanium is a superior metal and has only been held back from widespread adoption by high cost.

The patented technologies developed by Dr Fang and the Blacksand team can produce aerospace grade titanium metal and powders at significantly lower costs with minimal carbon emissions.

The combination of Hyperion and Blacksand Technology is transformational, bringing together two highly complementary organizations, supported by the world class metallurgical engineering department at the University of Utah, to create a leader in sustainable low carbon titanium metal and powders. Hyperion’s Titan Project in Tennessee will supply low carbon titanium mineral feedstock to produce low carbon, low-cost titanium metal and powders using the HAMR and GSD technologies.

We aim to build on Blacksand’s strengths in material science and innovation to scale and commercialize these breakthrough American technologies and make the US, once again, the leader in titanium metal.”

Dr. Z. Zak Fang, Professor of the University of Utah and founder of Blacksand Technology LLC, said:

“Blacksand is excited about the prospects of commercializing its suite of titanium technologies through Hyperion Metals. Hyperion recognizes the potential of the breakthrough HAMR process based on a simple and elegant scientific principle to lead the titanium production industry away from the old, energy intensive, and environmentally challenging Kroll process. This is a historical opportunity to change how Titanium is made with an energy-efficient, potentially zero-emission, and low-cost technology.”

Dr. Michael Simpson, Chair of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Utah said:

”The Department of Materials Science & Engineering of the University of Utah is excited and honored to partner with Hyperion Metals on education of undergraduate and graduate students majoring in both metallurgical engineering and materials science and engineering to progress research and development of Hyperion’s metal technologies.

Hyperion’s support in the form of scholarships, internships and an ESG legacy endowment will be of significant benefit to our current students as well as supporting future research. The research funding will enable the application of our world class metallurgical engineering resources to performing exciting research on high end metals production related to Hyperion’s patented technologies.

We are very appreciative of Hyperion Metal’s generosity and trust in our department and are excited about the long-term partnership.”

Full details of the option agreement can be found here.



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