Collapsed Rotherham metals specialist saved by mining company

A Rotherham powdered metals company has been saved after it was snapped up by an international mining firm.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 10:45 am
Metalysis' Discovery Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham.

Metalysis was bought out of administration by Power Resources Group a month after it ran out of cash and collapsed.

The firm, which owns a fast, cheap and greener method of creating exotic metal powders ideal for 3D printing is now part of an organisation which mines in Rwanda for tantalum, used in mobile phones, and niobium needed for high strength alloys.

PRG also has a refinery in North Macedonia and says Metalysis is a good fit.

Chief executive Ray Power said: “Delighted to expand the PRG family with the acquisition of a great company and great team at Metalysis.

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“The technology metals focus is a perfect complement to PRG’s existing vertically-integrated mining and refining operations and customer base.”

The firm had reached industrial-scale production only in the last nine months and had been “just a whisper away from commerciality” when it went into administration, he added.

Metalysis collapsed after failing to land further funding on top of the £92m it received from investors. It made an operating loss of £7.1m in the year ended March 2018 on revenues of £886,000.

Set up in 2001, it employed 60 at two sites in Rotherham. Staff took a 20 per cent pay cut in March.

Officials at Grant Thornton made 37 redundant in the first week of the administration..

Eddie Williams of Grant Thornton said the sale had been “a very challenging process.”

Metalysis had a venture with rare earth miner Mkango Resources and in March signed a contract with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, part of the Ministry of Defence.

Such was the potential of its ‘impossible alloys’ the company had visitors from 25 countries and talks with ‘a lot of governments.’

It even won a prize from the European Space Agency for its potential for ‘terraforming,’ colonising other worlds.