Beryllium related alloys specialist, IBC Advanced Alloys (TSXV: IB) announced that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (‘MOU’) with Kazakhstan’s national atomic company, Kazatomprom to jointly develop “emerging opportunities in the global beryllium market.”
Kazatomprom is the national operator of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the export of uranium and its compounds, rare metals, nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants, special purpose equipment, technologies and double-use materials.
Under the terms of the MOU, Kazatomprom, IBC Advanced Alloys and Ulba Metallurgical Plant, which is part of Kazatomprom, will develop a plan for “strategic cooperation” in the global beryllium market to foster “market growth and technological development”.
The Ulba Metallurgical plant is one of only three beryllium production facilities in the world with a full production cycle from ore concentrate processing to finished product.
Kazatomprom will also provide IBC Advanced Alloys with beryllium and master alloy long term supply assurances.
“This MOU is an important step in developing a long-term strategic relationship between Kazatomprom, Ulba and IBC and is intended to improve manufacturing and marketing efficiencies while broadening the opportunities for beryllium metal, beryllium-based alloys and other related products,” the company stated.
"We are tremendously excited to be strengthening our relationship with Kazatomprom and Ulba and to be working together to develop opportunities in the global beryllium and beryllium master alloys market," stated Anthony Dutton, president and CEO of IBC. "This MOU is a testament to our shared belief in the future of beryllium and beryllium alloys and underlines the importance of mutual cooperation to realize full market potential. Kazatomprom and Ulba are highly respected world-class companies," continued Mr. Dutton, "and IBC is looking forward to aligning its strategic interests and expanding its global reach in partnership with acknowledged market leaders."
Due to its stiffness, light weight, and stability over a wide temperature range, beryllium is used for lightweight structural components in the defense and aerospace industries in high-speed aircraft, missiles, space vehicles, and communication satellites. Beryllium is also used as an alloying agent in the production of beryllium copper.