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Tungsten West and Oxford Sigma establish UK-based raw materials pathway for fusion energy supply

Tungsten West has entered into a strategic collaboration with Oxford Sigma, a fusion energy company based in Oxfordshire, UK, to explore and establish critical supply pathway options enabling the use of the critical material, tungsten, for fusion energy deployment.

Fusion energy is potentially a near-limitless source of carbon-free energy for the future, and tungsten will be a key component in the process, required for radiation shielding and plasma-facing components within fusion energy devices. Fusion energy is actively being developed to reach commercialisation with over US$5 billion of private investment worldwide. However, without a viable commercial pathway for the supply of tungsten from raw materials to the fusion community, the commercialisation of fusion energy faces significant delays.

Oxford Sigma is a fusion technology company, founded by fusion materials and engineering experts, that is developing fusion materials and fusion in-vessel components to ensure long-term, commercial performance, and safe operation of fusion power plants. Their team are world experts in fusion materials and fusion design, with access to experimental facilities to accelerate fusion power station technology. The company has an established record of developing reliable tungsten-based radiation shielding and plasma-facing components for the fusion industry.

The strategic collaboration with Oxford Sigma will provide a mutual combination of skills and assets in order to secure the source of raw tungsten material in the UK, with the goal of deploying these tungsten-based components across the globe.

Neil Gawthorpe, CEO of Tungsten West, commented: "We are excited to enter into this collaboration agreement with Oxford Sigma which represents a significant step forward in advancing the development of sustainable and clean energy solutions. Tungsten is a key material required in fusion energy, essential in several key application areas within the reactors and, as we progress to production at Hemerdon, we are in a position to supply tungsten globally.

By leveraging our combined expertise and resources with Oxford Sigma, we are proud to be at the forefront of, and are poised to unlock, the full potential of tungsten for fusion energy deployment, a potentially limitless carbon free energy source for the future.”

Dr Thomas Davis, CTO of Oxford Sigma, commented: “Commercial fusion power stations are enroute to become the ultimate energy source. We are excited to partner with Tungsten West to connect the UK fusion community with the raw materials necessary to make fusion work. Most of the approaches to fusion that Oxford Sigma develops depend on large quantities of raw tungsten for various applications (radiation shielding, plasma-facing components, and liquid metal resistance coatings). By collaborating with Tungsten West, the door is open to secure this critical material supply to ensure that the country, and the world, can deploy the fusion reactors of the future.”

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