Matrix Composites and Engineering (ASX:MCE) to develop replacement product for Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) – The Market Herald

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  • Matrix Composites and Engineering (MCE) enters joint development agreement with Rio Tinto (RIO)
  • Matrix will receive $500,000 to design and manufacture a replacement product for steel components that will be lightweight, cheaper to transport and fully recyclable
  • Rio Tinto will then test the replacement product on land conveyor systems at its iron ore operations in WA
  • Delivery and implementation of the product to Rio Tinto for field trials is expected by mid-2023 and Matrix believes there is potential for future orders
  • MCE shares are flat in the market to trade at 24 cents at 11:43 AEST

Matrix Composites and Engineering (MCE) has entered into a joint development agreement with Rio Tinto (RIO).

Rio Tinto will provide Matrix approximately $500,000 to develop and manufacture a replacement product for structural steel components. These will then be tested on land conveyor systems at Rio Tinto’s iron ore operations in Western Australia.

Matrix will design and manufacture the product from its factory in the industrial suburb of Henderson with the possibility of mass production.

This agreement allows Matrix to use its knowledge to create a product that is much lighter than steel, which reduces handling risks and is cheaper to transport than traditional alternatives. The product will also be corrosion free and 100% recyclable.

Aaron Begley, CEO of Matrix Composites and Engineering, said this agreement represents another key step in demonstrating the potential of advanced composite solutions in the resource sector.

“Rio Tinto has hundreds of miles of overhead conveyors in its WA iron ore operations, and a successful trial of our innovative product will position us for larger scale contracts over the long term,” Mr. Begley said.

“The patented, cost effective and environmentally efficient solution we are developing can also be used in all iron ore, alumina, nickel, gold and other hard rock mining facilities, exposing us to a tangible, large-scale market opportunity.”

Delivery and implementation of the product to Rio Tinto for field trials is expected by mid-2023. Based on the trials, Matrix believes there is potential for future orders from Rio Tinto and other mining companies.

MCE shares were flat in the market to trade at 24 cents at 11:43 a.m. AEST.

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