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News | Jan. 5, 2024

Universal Achemetal Titanium Awarded $11.3 Million Contract from United States Department of Defense for for Titanium Metal R&D in Montana


(– The Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded $11.3 million dollars to Universal Achemetal Titanium, LLC (UAT) to conduct titanium metal research and development in Montana for the United States Navy, Office of Naval Research. The program is being contracted through LIFT, the Detroit-based and Department of Defense-partnered national advanced materials manufacturing innovation institute, and includes a partnership with Montana Tech, also located in Butte, which will assist with analysis and experimentation.

Titanium is half the weight of steel yet has the same strength and does not easily corrode. Titanium is of strategic importance to the United States defense industrial base, but the US does not currently produce any titanium materials domestically. UAT has developed a novel process for extracting and refining titanium from various raw ores using less energy, while no harmful chemicals are used or generated, and in an environmentally friendly manner.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), was instrumental in securing the award, targeting a critical research project as part of the FY23 Defense appropriations bill, that will bring investment to Montana. This initiative also meets the governmental goal of securing domestic supplies of critical metals for national security. The contract equates to an increase in jobs in Butte and brings awareness of Montana as a location that provides expertise in STEM educational and professional disciplines with growth potential.

“If we want to maintain our edge as the world’s leading economic and military power, it’s critical that we have the necessary resources to compete with our adversaries like China,” said U.S. Senator Jon Tester. “UAT and Montana Tech are at the forefront of new technologies for titanium extraction and refining, and I have no doubt that this partnership will help to strengthen our national defense while helping to lower costs across the board. As the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I was proud to help secure this competitively awarded funding and know the folks in Butte will continue to deliver on our defense needs.”

Marc Snyderman, Chief Strategy Officer of UAT added, “We’re extremely grateful to Sen. Tester and his staff for securing funding for this project which will continue to push this game-changing technology forward towards commercialization.”

Dr. James Cox, UAT’s Principal Investigator for the project further stated that “UAT has been working in Butte, Montana for over a decade and this funding is critical to the next steps in the process. We’ve already been able to hire 4 new employees plus 3 new interns and are looking to bring more talent to the beautiful southwest Montana area.”

LIFT is a Department of Defense manufacturing innovation institute, that works directly at the intersection of advanced materials and manufacturing processes to support the U.S. manufacturing base and the nation’s warfighters.

Universal Achemetal Titanium, LLC (UAT) was established to develop and commercialize the UAT extraction and reduction process in the United States using domestic ores and ensuring low cost, environmentally friendly processes are utilized. UAT is actively moving from laboratory scale to pilot scale production of the UAT process.