US-focused explorer IperionX says it has received notice that it might qualify for US$11.5 million of Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) finance for its proposed Virginia titanium plant.
The Nasdaq and ASX-listed company said a “letter of interest” from EXIM indicated its project might get equipment finance under its China and Transformational Exports Program and Make More in America Initiative’.
The programs facilitate loans and loan guarantees to support projects that reduce Chinese dominance in strategic sectors.
The equipment finance would be repayable over seven years.
“With this finance, IperionX plans to invest in essential production assets, including industrial furnaces and comminution equipment, which are estimated to cost around $11.5 million,” the company said.
“Once operational in 2024, the titanium production facility in Virginia is projected to have an initial capacity of 125 metric tonnes per annum. IperionX has further intentions to magnify this capacity through a modular development strategy, targeting a grand total of 1125t per annum on the same Virginia site.”
IperionX has the permitted Titan rare earths and heavy minerals project in west Tennessee, said to host the largest known titanium, rare earth and zircon JORC compliant mineral resource in the US. It is also looking at sources of scrap titanium.
A June 2022 scoping study put a circa-US$240 million development cost on a 25-year mining and processing operation at Titan.
IperionX said the EXIM letter was non-binding and contingent but offered a foundation to explore competitive funding avenues.