Last month, UK-based metal AM powder manufacturer Metalysis appeared to be in dire straights, as it announced it was placed into administration. Since then, things are looking up as mining company Power Resources Group (PRG) has announced it is buying the metal AM company out of administration.
Metalysis opened its first industrial scale plant for electrochemical AM powder production last year and despite being on the cusp of full commercialization, the company was placed into administration following financial difficulties. Among other reasons, the money problems could have stemmed from the company’s reliance on buying externally sourced minerals—the market for which is in constant flux.
Though details of the acquisition have not been disclosed, Power Resources Group is now the full owner of Rotherham-based Metalysis. According to the mining company, Metalysis’ metal powder technology will complement its vertically integrated mining and refining solutions.
Founded in 2001, Metalysis is known for developing a solid-state powder production process, which reduces pre-alloyed or ore feedstock into powder form at lower temperatures and with less energy than more traditional melting processes. The process also consists of fewer steps than competing solid-state processes, which the company says leads to rapid and affordable powder production.
PRG mines for tantalum and niobium in Rwanda, which are used in mobile phones and high-strength alloys, respectively. The company also supplies titanium materials to companies in a range of industries, including additive manufacturing, automotive, aerospace.
While Metalysis’ troubles came to a head after its Gen4 expansion—in which it proved capable of producing ten tonnes worth of material at its facility a year—the buyout by PRG could see the company continue on its evolution, moving into Gen5, where it would produce hundreds or thousands of tonnes of material a year.