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Independence Group Seeks Patent for Nickel Conversion Process

Independence Group has announced the development of a new process to produce high-quality nickel sulfate from nickel sulfide concentrate.

As part of an update to its downstream nickel sulfate prefeasibility study (PFS), Independence Group (IGO) (ASX:IGO) has announced the development of a new process to produce high-quality nickel sulfate from nickel sulfide concentrate.

According to IGO, the purpose of the PFS is to lock down a “commercially viable” process to convert nickel-cobalt sulfide from its Nova operation to nickel sulfate, a chemical form of nickel that’s a necessary component of lithium-ion batteries. The company has now lodged a patent application for the method, which it has dubbed the IGO Process.

The company claims that metal recoveries from the IGO Process are “extremely high,” with extraction rates exceeding 97 percent of nickel and cobalt metal in Nova’s sulfide concentrate feed.

The process is also considered low cost based on work completed to date, and is more environmentally sustainable than other nickel sulfate production methods due to lower emissions, power consumption and waste generation.

“We have made great progress with our nickel sulfate downstream processing studies. We have achieved high extraction rates for nickel and cobalt, in excess of 97 [percent], and have produced high-quality, battery grade nickel sulfate and saleable copper-cobalt mixed sulfide products,” IGO Managing Director Peter Bradford said in a statement.

“Further work remains to be done to optimize the process design to minimize waste and maximize by-product credits. We also continue to do trade off studies to determine the optimum project location, with key drivers including access and availability of power, water, transportation options, workforce and environment and community considerations.”

As Bradford explained, the company is still working towards optimizing the PFS, which is expected to be completed during the December 2019 quarter.

As of April 1, nickel was trading at US$13,150 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange.

Independence Group’s share price remained unchanged at the end of trading on the ASX on Tuesday (April 2), closing the day at AU$4.92.

Don’t forget to follow us at @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Perth, Australia – Classic Minerals Limited has made significant progress at Kat Gap during the quarter as it strives to become a gold producer. Highlights of the quarter include: – Assay results returned for infill RC drilling testing the gap between oxide and deeper fresh rock high-grade gold mineralisation at Kat Gap. – Advancing engineering, mining and metallurgical studies at Kat Gap, and – IGO have made …

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Classic Minerals Limited (ASX:CLZ) has made significant progress at Kat Gap during the quarter as it strives to become a gold producer.

Highlights of the quarter include:

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Perth, Australia – Classic Minerals Limited is pleased to announce that, in accordance with the terms of its Earn In and Joint Venture Agreement with IGO Newsearch Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IGO Limited IGO has notified Classic of: its election to acquire a 51% interest in the Company’s Fraser Range tenements having earnt that interest by spending $1,500,000 on exploration of the Tenements; and its …

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Classic Minerals Limited (ASX:CLZ) (the Company or Classic) is pleased to announce that, in accordance with the terms of its Earn In and Joint Venture Agreement (Agreement) with IGO Newsearch Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IGO Limited (ASX:IGO) (together, IGO) (CLZ announcement to ASX dated 17 June 2019 refers), IGO has notified Classic of:

(a) its election to acquire a 51% interest in the Company’s Fraser Range tenements (Tenements), having earnt that interest by spending $1,500,000 on exploration of the Tenements; and

(b) its intention to spend a further $1,000,000 exploring the Tenements over the next 2 years to take its joint venture interest to 70%.

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The mining and resources sector now sets its sights on Australia’s largest mining investment forum, Mines and Money @ IMARC, co-located with IMARC from January 31, 2022, to February 2, 2022, at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

It was gold price, lithium demand and China’s appetite for copper that dominated much of the discussion at Mines and Money Online Connect @ IMARC this week at the virtual event running from the 19th to the 21st October.

Mines and Money Online Connect saw 90 mining companies, 600+ investors and more than 2,000 participants log-on to hear mining executives and analysts discuss the next big thing for savvy investors in 2022.

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5 Top ASX Robotics Stocks

Emerging Technology Investing
robotic arm above a globe showing Australia

Australia is hoping to lead the way in robotics, and these are some of the country's top robotics stocks by market cap.

Robotics is a growing area of engineering and science technology. Although Australia is hoping to lead the way in robotics, the number of pure-play ASX-listed robotics companies isn't all that big.

Robotics is a broad term covering everything from design to the construction and operation of robots. It also includes the use of robots in roles normally played by humans, often to reduce errors or speed up processes.

This list includes a wide range of ASX-listed companies that employ robotics. Data was sourced using TradingView's stock screener on November 24, 2021, and stocks are listed in order of market cap from largest to smallest.


1. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC)

Market cap: AU$17.19 billion; current share price: AU$52.90

Technology powerhouse WiseTech Global provides software solutions to logistics businesses in 130 countries around the world. Its CargoWise platforms are designed using workflows, automation and robotics. The WiseTech Global Group includes more than 30 businesses.

The company has performed positively on the ASX over the past year, with its share price rising about 70 percent since the start of 2021. The company expects to continue this momentum in during its 2022 fiscal year, with projected EBITDA growth of 26 to 38 percent.

2. Altium (ASX:ALU)

Market cap: AU$5.47 billion; current share price: AU$41.67

Altium is a leading global software company that focuses on 3D-printed circuit board (PCB) design. Although seemingly obscure, the PCB design tool Altium Designer is used by robotics companies like Robotics Kanti. The company also sponsors student robotics design competitions that focus on PCB design.

The 2021 fiscal year was strong for Altium, which reported a revenue increase of 6 percent, to AU$180.2 million, and announced a final dividend of AU$0.21 per share.

3. Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)

Market cap: AU$249.49 million; current share price: AU$0.25

Vection Technologies is a multinational software company with offices in Western Australia, as well as Subiaco and Casalecchio di Reno in Italy. The company uses robotics technology in addition to 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial internet of things and CAD solutions.

The business is split into two sections: information technology development and outsourced services. The company also collaborates with Autodesk Technology Centres, the Microsoft Mixed Reality Team and Cisco Systems Italy.

4. FBR (ASX:FBR)

Market cap: AU$116.95 million; current share price: AU$0.05

FBR designs, develops and builds robots for the global construction market. The company's dynamically stabilised offerings are made to work outdoors using FBR's Dynamic Stabilisation Technology.

This technology was first used in the Hadrian X, a brick-laying robot that can build structural walls more efficiently than traditional methods and with less waste. The first commercial building to have its structural walls built by Hadrian X in 2020 was completed and tenanted in 2021.

5. Bill Identity (ASX:BID)

Market cap: AU$44.18 million; current share price: AU$0.25

Previously known as BidEnergy, Bill Identity provides a series of bill management solutions leveraged using its Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The RPA system helps clients increase their efficiency and serves customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe. The company had a strong year, with total operating revenue growth of 55 percent year-on-year to AU$14.6 million in its 2021 fiscal year.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article

Sydney Opera House at night

Robotics is an area of investing that is growing in Australia ― but is it a sector worth investing in?

The global robotics industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent through 2028 according to the Global Industrial Robotics Market Analysis 2020. Robotics is an area of investing that is growing in Australia ― but is it a sector worth investing in?

Broadly speaking, robotics is the design and construction of robots. This can include core automation and production, industrial software, robot technology and integration of robotics. From drones to self-driving cars to toys ― robotics is a growing industry that is beginning to permeate our daily lives.


The distinction between robotics and AI can be a little confusing, but essentially think of robotics like the body and AI like the brain. Both can exist separately, and they are powerful when combined. The goal of a robot is to complete a task faster and more efficiently than a human.

What does the market look like?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen technology sectors such as robotics accelerate as businesses have faced global challenges. Robotics has been able to help keep spaces safer by replacing humans with robots on factory lines, in eCommerce warehouses or on healthcare frontlines taking temperatures or disinfecting spaces.

What is Australia doing to support the robotics sector?

In early 2020, the Robotics Australia Network was formed to accelerate growth of the domestic robotics industry. The network aims to strengthen global competitiveness and cement Australia as a global leader in robotics.

How does the Australian robotics sector stack up?

According to the International Federation of Robotics, in a ranking of the world's most automated countries it's not even in the top 10. Number one is Singapore, followed by South Korea then Japan.

The investment space for pure robotics companies is relatively small, with greater opportunities to invest in more broader technology, AI and automation stocks.

Who are the big players in robotics stocks?

Robotics stocks in Australia are companies with a strong crossover to other technology sectors like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Vection Technologies (ASX:VR1)
Market Cap AU$77.56 million

Vection is a multinational software company with offices in Western Australia as well as Subiaco and Casalecchio di Reno in Italy. The company uses robotics technology as well as 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, industrial IoT and CAD solutions. The business is split into two sections: IT development and outsourced services. The company also collaborates with Autodesk Technology Centers, the Microsoft Mixed Reality Team and Cisco Systems Italy.

Bill Identity (ASX:BID)

Market Cap AU$52.97 million

Previously known as BidEnergy, Bill Identity is a series of bill management solutions leveraged using robotic process automation, which helps clients increase efficiency. The company serves customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Europe. Bill Identity had a strong year, with total operating revenue growth of 55 percent year-on-year to US$14.6M in FY21.

What are the other ways to invest in robotics?

Another way to get into the robotics sector is investing in robotics exchange traded funds (ETFs), a popular choice that offers exposure to the industry of robotics and artificial intelligence rather than a single company. Two major ETFs in the robotics sector are:

  • BetaShares Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (ASX:RBTZ)
  • The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ARCA:ROBO)

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.