Eck Industries, Imperial Mining prototype scandium-aluminum EV battery box

Imperial Mining Group Ltd. and its partner, AFS Corporate Member Eck Industries are set to begin the prototyping phase of a joint program to make EV battery boxes for a major North American automotive manufacturer. The companies have completed tests that showed scandium-modified aluminum-magnesium (535-series) alloy components met or exceeded the OEM’s requirements.

At the same time, Eck and Imperial will vet business cases and seek ways to maximize weight savings for the transportation sector. In addition, a search for investment partners in the aerospace and defense sectors is in progress.

“Imperial is very pleased with the initial results of the testing and will continue to work closely with Eck Industries as we move into the prototyping phase of the program,” said Imperial President & CEO Peter Cashin. “With Imperial being the only potential primary hardrock source of scandium in North America, we have been aligning our strategic marketing activities with projects that require important weight and carbon footprint reductions. Major manufacturers have set this as a high priority.”

“There has been a broad concern about the application of scandium in cast alloys,” said David Weiss, Eck’s vice president of research and development. “While this is true in some cast alloys, it is not universally true. This work, entailing innovative casting methods and heat treatment, lays the groundwork for additional improvement in cast alloys. We thank Imperial Mining for their support of this work.”