As of this morning, mining developer Matrix Composites and Engineering (MCE) and Rio Tinto have signed a cooperative development agreement (RIO).
Matrix will get funding from Rio Tinto of about $500,000 to create a new product to replace structural steel. At Rio Tinto's Western Australian iron ore operations, they will be put through their paces on the company's overland conveyor systems.
Matrix's factory in the Henderson industrial area has the capacity for mass manufacturing, therefore that's where the product will be designed and manufactured. By combining its expertise with that of the other parties, Matrix will be able to produce an item that is easier to handle, poses less of a risk during travel, and costs less to ship. The product will not corrode and will be recyclable in full.
CEO of Matrix Composites and Engineering, Aaron Begley, said the arrangement is a significant milestone in proving the viability of advanced composite solutions in the resources industry.
Mr. Begley stated:
"Rio Tinto has hundreds of kilometres of overhead conveyors across their WA iron ore operations," and the company would be in a better position to win larger contracts in the long run if they tried out our revolutionary solution.
In addition to iron ore, alumina, nickel, gold, and other hard rock mining installations, the patented, cost-effective, and environmentally efficient solution we are developing can be used in all of these industries as well.
Midway through 2023, Rio Tinto may anticipate receiving and implementing the product in question for use in field testing. Matrix expects future purchases from Rio Tinto and other mining sector firms to depend on the results of the trials.
At 11:43 AM EST, MCE shares were unchanged at 24 cents.