Russian aluminum producer Rusal begins scandium oxide production

London (Platts)--18 Aug 2016 956 am EDT/1356 GMT

Rusal has produced scandium oxide at a concentration exceeding 99% for the first time at its Urals smelter, the Russian aluminum producer said Thursday.

The market price of the new product is up to $2,000/kg, Rusal said.

The new production follows the installation and launch of a 96 kg/year pilot unit for the processing of scandium concentrate into scandium oxide, based on Rusal's carbonization technology for scandium extraction from red mud, which is a byproduct of alumina refining.

Project investment has so far totaled around Rb64 million ($1 million), and work is in progress on the pilot unit to further improve the technology to reduce product costs, Rusal said.

The scandium oxide produced will be used for the production of aluminum-scandium alloys at Rusal's smelters, the company said, noting that the use of scandium as a micro-alloying element improves the consumer properties of aluminum alloys, while producing its own raw materials for the production of alloys will allow Rusal to reduce costs associated with raw materials purchasing.

Scandium has "vast potential" in the aerospace, transport and energy industries, with global consumption of scandium oxide currently estimated at 10-15 mt/year, said Victor Mann, director of Rusal's research and development, in a statement.

"In this regard, Rusal has plans to develop a modular unit capable of increasing the capacity keeping up with market demand," Mann said. "The production will rely on the company's own raw material base and will fully meet demand not only in Russia, but globally."

--Andy Blamey,
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles,

Request a free trial of: Metals Daily

Would you like to get a closer look at Platts Metals Daily to see what 85 years of comprehensive global metals coverage and valuable insight looks like? Use this free trial link to fill out the request form, and we will send you 5 issues for you to review.

Metals Daily features global news, analysis, daily pricing, and commentary on major metals including aluminum, copper, lead, tin, zinc and precious metals, as well as Ferroalloys and steel.

This detailed service will help you monitor global events and quickly spot opportunities or potential pitfalls as well as bring you aluminum and copper price and news coverage. Daily prices and news for molybdenum are also covered to deliver critical insights.

Request a trial More Information

Copyright © 2018 S&P Global Platts, a division of S&P Global. All rights reserved.