FEAM Announces Breakthrough Technology on Boron Facility
FEAM (5e Advanced Materials), the boron mining specialist has begun construction on its Small Scale Boron Facility (SSBF) with a leading publicly traded contractor in the United States. The SSBF is scheduled to be operational in Q4 2022 and will be the first new source of boron in the United States in over 50 years.
Small-Scale Boron Facility (SSBF)
The Small-Scale Boron Facility (SSBF) is designed to meet customers’ needs in the advanced materials, defense, and energy industries requiring a reliable and sustainable boron supply. Its production will build customer contracts for boron advanced materials and improve engineering and construction for 5E’s large-scale boron and lithium site. It will also drive sales and promote revenue.
The SSBF will create employment within an economically distressed ‘Opportunity Region’ in Southern California and strengthen 5E’s position as a leading producer of what has been designated as a critical material by the US Government.
The Presidential Executive Order released in February 2022 and the subsequent Memorandum on Presidential Determination, released in March 2022, emphasizes the current administration’s support for these types of facilities. The excerpt from the Presidential Determination below emphasizes the SSBF’s importance in meeting national security needs.
“Many of the strategic and critical materials required for the clean energy transition are sourced from unreliable foreign sources in the United States. As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, demand for such materials is expected to rise exponentially. To meet these demands, the United States is committed to developing a secure and reliable domestic source of rare earth elements and other critical minerals.”
Response of the CEO to the Project Initiation
Mr. Henri Tausch, CEO of SSBF, stated in response to the initiation of the project:
“We are pleased to be moving forward with our SSBF, which is on track to begin boron production later this year. Initial production will be a major catalyst for the Company as it will enhance our boron advanced materials business and improve engineering for our large-scale boron and lithium site.
The SSBF and subsequent large-scale development will also strengthen America’s supply chains by providing a new local source of critical materials for national security, clean energy, and future applications.”
About 5E Advanced Materials
5E Advanced Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEAM) (ASX: 5EA) was previously known as American Pacific Borates (ASX: ABR). It is the sole owner of Fort Cady (California), a highly strategic critical mineral asset that will monetize boric acid, one of the essential minerals used in a wide range of applications.
5E envisions a nameplate 500KsTPY boric acid process, supplemented by 5K-7KsTPY of a lithium carbonate co-product, with run-rate production expected in the second half of 2027. Longer-term, 5E intends to use its boric acid as feedstock for boron advanced materials (Boron+), with a value profile that we believe will have a multiplier effect’ on revenue and EBITDA by the Fort Cady asset.
FEAM is positioning itself to become a fully – integrated worldwide leader in BORON+ advanced materials, focusing on enabling decarbonization. BORON+ products are aimed at critical, high-value application areas such as electric transportation, clean energy, food security, and home security.
5E Advanced Materials, Inc. is supported by its inexpensive, low-impact boron resource in Southern California, identified as a Critical Infrastructure by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. It is the world’s largest known new conventional boron deposit. Its mining/refining process will employ low-footprint, low-waste in-situ leaching (ISL).
5E has a competitive advantage in the quality of its resources and its domestic supply source and downstream processing capabilities. This gives them an edge when meeting customer product specifications and ensuring a reliable, consistent supply. As demand for BORON+ in the United States and the rest of the world increases, 5E is strategically positioned to address this demand.
FEAM also operates another boron and lithium project in Salt Wells, Nevada, USA. The Salt Wells assets, obtained in late May 2018, have generated high concentrations of both lithium and boron in surface samples, with concentrations as high as 810 ppm for the former and 5.2%+ boric acid equivalent for the latter. The site also covers 36 square kilometers, making it an attractive prospect for further exploration and development.
The Salt Wells Projects is situated in Nevada’s Clayton Valley, which is notable given its status as one of its premier lithium-producing regions. Despite this, little exploration work has been done at these sites. As of July 2020, 5E had postponed its spending plans on the project by 2022 to focus its assets on commercializing and expanding operations at Fort Cady.
5E Advanced Materials owns both Fort Cady and Salt Wells, though the former will be the company’s focus in the near future.