As we chalk up another financial year at Calix, we reflect on a year of dramatic growth in the footprint and capability of the company and look forward to what is set to be another landmark year in the Calix story.
The first half of the financial year contained a flurry of activity. We signed a first-of-a-kind licence agreement with Heidelberg Materials for cement decarbonisation; secured ARENA funding for further work on decarbonising iron and steel; executed a joint venture with Pilbara Minerals; and raised the capital required to continue developing our decarbonisation solutions. In the second half of the financial year, we also announced two exciting new applications: Direct Air Capture of atmospheric CO2 in partnership with Heirloom, and provision of captured industrial CO2 for sustainable transport fuels as part of the HyGATE funded Solar Methanol Project.
In more recent months, our focus has been firmly on the development and execution of our core projects. Our joint venture with Pilbara Minerals has moved full-steam ahead to construct a mid-stream demonstration plant for the sustainable production of a lithium salt here in Australia. We are delighted that the project has now passed its Financial Investment Decision point. The rapid progress of the project is testament to the talent and dedication of the Calix and Pilbara Minerals teams, and I am thankful for their huge effort over the past few months.
Our Zero Emissions Steel TechnologY or “ZESTY” R&D program continues our early, highly promising pilot-scale trials with a greatly expanded range of ore types from Australia and abroad. A recent visit of leaders from US industry, government and NGOs to our Leilac-1 pilot plant highlighted the increasing interest in cement decarbonisation and industrial carbon capture solutions following the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. You can read more on this visit, our progress with ZESTY and the development of decarbonisation solutions for the hard-to-abate shipping sector in the newsletter.
This edition of the newsletter also reports significant expansion of the US Water business. Two new hydration plants are near completion and will support new customers across several new states in the US. This growth continues to be driven by strong regulatory tailwinds that demand more sustainable solutions for water and wastewater treatment.
The Calix team has grown significantly over the 2023 Financial Year, and we continue to look for talented new recruits who share our passion and purpose. The growth of the company has also extended to new R&D facilities. A new laboratory, supported by a $1m grant from the Australian Government, is now up and running. It will provide a significant increase to our R&D capabilities, helping to relieve bottlenecks in our assessment of an ever-expanding pipeline of materials testing from interested counterparties across all our lines of business. FY23 also contained several notable internal sustainability initiatives, and this newsletter’s feature on the re-purposing of broken intermediate bulk containers in pursuit of our ambition to have 100% sustainable inputs is one such example.
Although FY23 contained many significant achievements and milestones for Calix, it looks like even more opportunities are emerging in FY24. I thank every member of our remarkable team for their continued effort to realise our potential, as well as our shareholders and partners for their support.
Managing Director and CEO
“The year has leapt ahead and the pace of development of the business and opportunities is quickening. In the newsletter, we feature several articles on recent policy moves both in Australia and abroad, which serve to strengthen tailwinds for our technology in industrial decarbonisation. Calix has made submissions to the Australian Government on its Safeguard Mechanism and Critical Minerals Strategy – both important initiatives that are starting to galvanise action amidst improving clarity on Australia’s position in decarbonisation. This clarity is essential if Australia is to re-build and add value via an expanding domestic manufacturing and processing capability. Our lithium project with Pilbara Minerals and the development of our Zero Emissions Steel TechnologY (ZESTY) are just a couple of examples of the opportunities we see in Australia, and overseas.
In the newsletter, we outline several new opportunities and updates for our Leilac (Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement) business, with an MOU outlining a development with Bill Gates-backed Heirloom for Direct Air Capture (DAC), progress in our UK low emissions lime project with Tarmac, a grant announced from the UK Government to progress our partnership with Windship for zero emissions shipping, and an article on our recent announcement to progress a sustainable fuels solution based on methanol with an Australian-German consortium lead by Vast Solar, with Adbri.
We also feature a couple of articles on the “often-forgotten” development of the Calix technology into advanced materials such as for advanced batteries and biotech. We were pleased to execute formal arrangements with the CRC SAAFE research effort looking into solving anti-microbial resistance, using our unique, high activity and safe magnesium oxide. Next steps will involve setting up the project research streams, including potential veterinary applications. We also report on the latest news on our battery materials development program, with commercial production and testing of our Lithium Manganese Oxide cathode material with UK’s AMTE Power in full swing, and new chemistries exhibiting excellent early results such as our lithium iron phosphate cathode material.
Calix would not be where we are without our great team, and in this newsletter we celebrate some of the great women in our team as part of International Women’s Day. We also feature our new Non-Executive Director, Alison Deans, who recently joined the Calix Board in conjunction with the retirement of Dr Jack Hamilton, as part of our board renewal process. On behalf of the Chair, board and Calix team we extend our thanks to Jack for over 10 years of valuable advice and hard work over his tenure, and welcome Alison to the team.
As always, the Calix team extends its thanks to our shareholders and stakeholders for your ongoing support and interest in our efforts and we look forward to an exciting and fast-paced 2023!”
Phil Hodgson, CEO