AN Australian minerals producer has paid £12.2m for a minority stake in a Rotherham specialist metals manufacturer at the forefront of the 3D printing revolution.
Iluka Resources has agreed an 18.3 per cent stake in Metalysis and a right to increase its shareholding to up to 24.9 per cent in the event of an initial public offering.
Metalysis has developed a patented process for the production of high value metals and innovative alloys.
David Robb, managing director at Iluka, said: “Iluka’s involvement as a major shareholder and funding partner provides Iluka shareholders with access to a new, potentially disruptive technology which is close to commercialisation, and the potential benefits of a new source of high grade titanium dioxide feedstock demand, as well as a commercial involvement in a potential new growth pathway for high value metals and alloys and new manufacturing processes such as 3D print- ing.”
Tony Pedder, chairman of Metalysis, welcomed Iluka as a funding partner.
He said: “Iluka’s expertise in titanium dioxide as a feedstock, process engineering experience and access to global markets can make a significant impact on Metalysis’ development.
“The Metalysis process has applications across metals in the periodic table including: titanium, tantalum and rare earths and with Iluka’s access to titanium dioxide feedstock there is the potential to produce titanium powder with much greater efficiency and at a much lower cost than is currently possible.”
3D printers have already created automotive parts using low-cost titanium powders developed by Metalysis.
The company’s technology heralds a new era in additive layer manufacture.