• Ferro-silicon 70%min EXW India(-20000)  11-26|Samarium Oxide 99.9%min FOB China(240)  11-26|Samarium Oxide 99.9%min EXW China(1500)  11-26|Calcium-silicon 28-55 FOB China(-300)  11-26|Calcium-silicon 28-55 EXW China(-2000)  11-26|Calcium-silicon 30-60 FOB China(-300)  11-26|Calcium-silicon 30-60 EXW China(-2000)  11-26|Magnesium Ingot 99.9%min EXW China(1500)  11-26|Magnesium Ingot 99.95%min EXW China(1500)  11-26|Magnesium Alloy AZ91D EXW China(1500)  11-26|Magnesium Powder 99.9%min EXW China(1500)  11-26|Magnesium Alloy AM60B EXW China(1500)  11-26|Magnesium Alloy AM50A EXW China(1500)  11-26|Magnesium Ingot 99.9%min Ex-VAT FOB China(200)  11-26
    World's largest scandium oxide industry base in pilot production
    ----Interview with Nie Donghong
    General Manager
    Jiaozuo RongJia Scandium Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd.
    Jiaozuo Rongjia Scandium Industry Science & Technology Co.,Ltd is a national high-tech joint venture, established by Lomon Billions Group Co., Ltd. and Hunan Oriental Scandium Co., Ltd in August, 2011. As a national technology-based and small-and-medium-sized enterprise, the company aims to build the world's largest scandium oxide industry base. The company currently owns a 10tpy scandium oxide 99.99%min capacity, which would increase to 30tpy by 2020 when the phase two project of 20tpy scandium oxide 99.99%min comes on stream.

    Asian Metal: Good afternoon, Mr. Nie! Thank you for accepting this interview of Asian Metal. Could you please introduce your company and your main business briefly?

    Mr.Nie: Jiaozuo Rongjia Scandium Industry Science & Technology Co.,Ltd is a national high-tech joint venture, established by Lomon Billions Group Co., Ltd. and Hunan Oriental Scandium Co., Ltd. As a national technology-based and small-and-medium-sized enterprise, the company aims to build the world's largest scandium oxide industry base.
    Office building
    The controlling shareholder, Lomon Billions Group Co., Ltd., is the world's fourth, Asia's largest producer of titanium dioxide. The listed company (stock code: 002601), currently owns an annual capacity of 600,000t of titanium oxide, and is building a 200,000tpy titanium dioxide production line of phase two with the chlorination process. After the trial production at the beginning of 2019, the Group would have the production capacity of 800,000tpy. Lomon Billions Group Co., Ltd. is planning to build a production capacity of over 2,000,000tpy of titanium dioxide by 2017, when it would become the largest titanium dioxide enterprise in the world. That is to say, the company provides 50tpy of raw material of scandium oxide now, and would offer 100t per year in a long run for RongJia Scandium Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd..
    Hunan Oriental Scandium Co., Ltd. is a high-tech company specializing in production, operation, development and application of scandium products. The company has been the scandium industry's leading enterprise with strong technical force and has many applications in the field of scandium industry.
    Jiaozuo Rongjia Scandium Industry Science & Technology Co., Ltd. aims to take advantages of resource, capital and technology from the two companies mentioned above to co-establish the world' largest scandium production base.
    At present, the main business of the company is the development, production and management of various scandium series products like scandium oxide, scandium salt, scandium metal and scandium contained aluminum alloy (Sc-Al alloy).

    Asian Metal: Thank you for your introduction. Would you please give us a brief introduction of your career?

    Mr. Nie: After I graduated from Hunan University in 1984, I have been engaged in hydrometallurgical technology, production and management. From 1984 to 1997, I worked in several state-owned enterprises and engaged in manganese metal, vanadium pentoxide series products' R&D, production and management; From 1998 to 2009, I mainly engaged in the recovery of indium, germanium, tellurium, rhenium and other rare metal products; Since 2010, I have been engaged in recycling scandium oxide product from waste acid produced from titanium dioxide, and zirconium salt wastewater.

    Asian Metal: According to the Asian Metal's Database, the Chinese scandium oxide 99.99%min price has kept sliding since 2011, so what do you think of this phenomenon?

    Mr. Nie: The major industrial consumption areas for the scandium oxide are Sc-Al alloy, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and the scandium sodium lamp. Over the past 8 years, the scandium was limited in the use of Sc-Al alloy due to the high price and supply of scandium oxide. Currently, the Sc-Al alloy is mainly used in the defense and military industries. In addition, the development of SOFC is far lower than the market expectation of the demand for scandium, and the consumption from scandium sodium lamp industry even decreases. The output of scandium oxide has kept increasing from 2011, but downstream demand remains limited, leading to excessive supply. Therefore, prices for Chinese scandium oxide 99.99%min moved down continuously over the past years.
    Chinese scandium oxide 99.99%min price trend since 2011 (Unit: RMB/kg)

    Asian Metal: The majority of scandium oxide producers reflected that their orders were rare, some separation plants halted production successively, and the operating rate of this industry hit a new low from Q2, 2017. From your point of view, do you believe that the demand for scandium oxide would revive in H2, 2018? What do you think about the scandium oxide price and trend for the future market?

    Mr. Nie: According to my analysis, I estimate that the demand for scandium oxide in H2, 2018 would continue to be weak. Owing to the producers' production costs, current price is at the edge of the bottom. I forecast that the price would not fluctuate much in latter half of this year, and believe that the industry would have a bright prospect in the future.

    Asian Metal: The first batch of environmental protection inspection was carried out by the central government in early this June, and the newly-built 6 groups investigated Hebei, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces or autonomous regions. The environmental acceptance check put unprecedented environmental protection pressure on enterprises. What changes do you think will bring to the scandium industry with the implementation of environmental acceptance check?

    Mr. Nie: Companies which provide recycled scandium raw material will possibly encounter reshuffle and integration as they bear unprecedented environmental protection pressure due to the environmental protection inspection. It means that the producers of scandium oxide 99.99%min would reduce, while the plants which have sufficient raw materials would survive. Furthermore, the cost of scandium oxide production would rise due to the increased investment in environmental protection. Small scandium oxide recycling enterprises are supposed not to be able to maintain regular production and operation, and thus these plants would gradually cease production and shut down.

    Asian Metal: As far as I know, your company is jointly established by Lomon Billions Group Co., Ltd. and Hunan Oriental Scandium Co., Ltd., and completed the construction of a new factory in H1 of this year. Could you tell me the newly-built production capacity and development plan of your company? After the factory reaches the designed capacity, will there be overlap and supplement in scandium product businesses between your company and Hunan Oriental Scandium Co., Ltd.?

    Mr. Nie: Yes, We've finished the construction of the new plant and put it into trial production now. Rongjia Scandium Industry currently owns 10tpy scandium oxide 99.99%min capacity, which would increase to 30tpy by 2020 when the phase two project of 20tpy scandium oxide 99.99%min comes on stream. It will ensure the demand and lay a raw material foundation for the development and application of downstream products. Rongjia Scandium Industry is mainly engaged in the production and R&D of scandium oxide before 2020, with scandium metal and Al-Sc as sideline. While, the main business of Hunan Oriental Scandium is the R&D, production and application of subsequent products of scandium oxide. The two companies realize mutual development through complementary business even though they do business separately.
    Extraction Process
    Purification Process
    Scandium oxide
    Scandium chloride salts

    Asian Metal: From the aspect of the major three applications mentioned above, the demand from SOFC developed slowly over the past two years, so domestic enterprises explore the downstream applications such as Sc-Al alloy, target materials, welding stick, etc. As you know, what's the growth potential of scandium oxide in scandium-contained aluminum alloy area? Is it possible to see breakthroughs in the demand of the material at home and abroad?

    Mr.Nie: Sc-Al alloy market is huge for scandium application. The application of Sc-Al alloy is basically mature and has successful cases in national defense and military industries. But the application of the material develops slowly in civilian area as people conventionally think that scandium products' prices stay high and the supply keeps limited. As a matter of fact, with the development of scandium oxide production and technology in recent years, raw materials for scandium oxide recycling increase, which reduces the production cost and increases supply greatly. I believe that lightweight vehicle field should be of great potential for Sc-Al alloy application.
    As for the breakthroughs for the Sc-Al alloy in both domestic and overseas markets, it mainly depends on two sides. For one thing, the upstream producers of scandium oxide should ensure the stability of the raw material supply and prices; For another thing, the downstream plants should continue to explore new products that meet the scandium characteristics. Only by the cooperation from upstream and downstream plants can the Al-Sc series products with high cost performance and strong demand can be developed.

    Asian Metal: As a veteran of scandium industry, could you please share us your views and suggestions on the development trend of scandium industry?

    Mr Nie: In a word, scandium, one kind of scattered rare elements, has great potential, which reminds me of the poem written by Libai ---"Since heaven gave the talent, let it be employed!", so I still hold a positive attitude towards the future of scandium market although the development progress is not easy.
    My suggestions are listed as follows: First, upstream plants should continue to lower production cost to ensure that the downstream consumers can afford scandium-contained raw materials; Second, as far as I know, there is no independent scandium ore that can be explored all over the world at present. Scandium oxide is mostly recycled and extracted during the production processes of titanium, zirconium, tungsten, cobalt and nickel metals. Once we abandon the extraction and recovery of scandium under a depressed market, the precious resource would be wasted and no longer be available. Thus I believe that the government should support several promising large enterprises in helping them overcome difficulties. The measures include policies, funds, national reserves, etc.
    Staff spirit 1
    Staff spirit 2

    Asian Metal: At last, could you please talk about your experience in business operation and management?

    Mr. Nie: I just mentioned that I have engaged in the nonferrous metal industry for nearly 35 years. Different from other metal products, only scandium oxide prices slid continuously. I still remembered that the market supply kept extremely tight when we tried to conduct massive production of scandium oxide 99.5%min in 2010 limited by immature technology. The production cost decreases and supply increase sharply in the recent years, but the market demand becomes so weak.
    I would like to share with you the famous poem of Mao Zedong to express my feeling of the operation and management of one enterprise: "Despite whatever we've achieved and lost before, we'll step ahead unswervingly just like how we'd kicked off at the very beginning."

    Asian Metal: Thank you for sharing your opinion and your support to Asian Metal. Wish your company a bright future!

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