Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

DroneShield moves to profit on increasing global tensions

Drone countermeasure company DroneShield has confirmed it moved to profit in FY23 on the back of rising global tensions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The company reported record contracts and growing cash receipts which reached $73.5 million in FY23, five times the previous year. More than 68 percent of revenue was from the United States with Australia contributing 23 percent. The company reported $9.3 million profit after tax. During the year DroneShield moved to larger facilities in Sydney, and now employs 115 people, including 90 engineers.

Dotz Nano raises $12 million in the United States

Climate Technology company Dotz Nano has announced it will sponsor a Level 1 American Depositary Receipts (“ADR”) programme to increase Dotz’s exposure and appeal to North American investors. The Bank of New York Mellon has been appointed depositary bank for the programme, which is a way of giving US investors access to companies listed overseas, in this case on the ASX. Funds will support development of the company’s DotzEarth carbon capture technology which is based on a solid and porous carbon sorbent designed with a pore size to capture CO2. Dotz CEO Sharon Malka said: “With investing in pure-play industrial carbon capture companies mostly undertaken in private markets, our new ADR programme provides US ESG-conscious investors the opportunity to gain exposure to carbon-related investments.”

Cyclopharm sees record revenues as it enters US market

Radiopharmaceutical lung imaging medical technology company Cyclopharm has reported record revenues of $32.21 million, up 29 percent, driven by strong distributing operations and growth in sales of its Technegas equipment sales of $14.4 million. Cyclopharm told investors it has cash of $11.73 million, enough to roll out Technegas in the United States, where it obtained FDA approval during the year.

Lynas Rare Earths profit down in ‘transitional year’

rare earths producer Lynas Rare Earths has reported a sharp fall in profit in the first half year FY24 as it beds down expansion investments. The Perth company reported EBIT profit down from $158 million in the previous corresponding period to $31.8 million, on revenue down from $370 million to $234.8 million. Lynas invested $347 million in the half expanding its Mt Weld mine in Western Australia, constructing a part-processing plant in Kalgoorlie and increasing capacity at its Malaysian metals plant. Prices for key rare earths were also down during the half.

La Trobe Magnesium raises new capital

Magnesium production company Latrobe Magnesium has raised $1.1 million by issuing new shares in a share placement. Funds will go towards construction of a 1,000tpa magnesium demonstration plant in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley. Magnesium will be extracted from brown coal fly ash at the former power station site. La Trobe said the fund ensured there would be no delay in magnesium production for 31 March, 2024. The company is in discussion with the ATO over payment of a R&D rebate for FY 2033.

Electro Optic Systems resolves dispute with Washington H. Soul Pattinson

Communications and defence manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has resolved its dispute with Washington H. Soul Pattinson. The two companies were in dispute over a $35 million term loan facility provided by WHSP, a diverse investment company which also is a shareholder in building products group Brickworks and owns electrical manufacturer Ampcontrol. WHSP had extended the maturity date of the facility twice during negotiations. Their resolution includes an amendment to the debt facility agreement between the companies which was conditional on the approval of another finance provider – the additional approval has been obtained.

Central Coast industry festival approaches

Manufacturing, food production and related service businesses from the Central Coast, Sydney and Hunter regions will feature at the 2024 Central Coast Industry Festival, to be held March 6 and 7. According to a statement from organisers, nearly 60 of the region’s businesses will be showcasing their products and technologies “at what will be 2024’s largest event held specifically for the manufacturing sector.” The event will be hosted at Tumbi Umbi’s Mingara Recreation Club and is organised by Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC.) It aims to help local manufacturers and their service providers to ‘Connect to Grow’ by strengthening local networks; nurturing relationships and connectedness; promoting and facilitating collaboration; and supporting capability building. Frank Sammut, Executive Director of CCIC, said, ““We are excited to be hosting dynamic manufacturers such as Star Scientific, iQRenew, Arc Ento Tech, 4 Seasons Insulation, Hydrogen at Home and Mil-Tek in our circular economy display room. These businesses will be showcasing their game-changing innovations and talking to the opportunities they have gained by being a ‘Circular’ business.” More information is available here.

HEO hiring at London office

Sydney-headquartered space business HEO is hiring, telling applicants to “Put your skills to work and help make space transparent!” The company, which delivers non-Earth imaging and information to clients, is seeking a Business Development Manager and Space Solutions Engineer to work at its London, UK office. More information is available at this link.

Waste business fined $140,000 over fatality

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland announced this week that an unnamed waste transfer and recycling business has been fined $140,000 after a worker died while operating an onsite shredder used to process waste material. The business pleaded guilty to charges under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court related to the January 2021 incident. The worker commenced employment as a machine operator for the defendant approximately six months earlier. According to the statement, two workers were tasked to clear a large pile of waste, with no supervisor present on a nightshift, with the shredder in a “poor mechanical state.” An investigation by WHS found that the defendant had not conducted a risk assessment of the shredder, there were no training or documented procedures specific to clearing blockages, and the only safety measure was an undocumented ‘lockout and tagout’ approach.

AI enhances satellite imagery

A new method to assess different satellite designs using a powerful AI technique to more cheaply monitor our planet from space has been released. The team behind it was led by Swinburne University of Technology and Earth observation data company, Planet Labs. According to a statement from the university, the method reduces the cost of EO satellites while keeping the quality of images high. Dr Steve Petrie, Earth Observation Research Fellow at Swinburne, said in a statement: “We used AI to compensate for compromises limitations in satellite hardware that degrade the quality of images. The glass lens was the most difficult component to compensate for, suggesting that satellite designers should not compromise on the quality of the lens relative to the quality of other components.”

Green Steel of WA in new partnership

Green Steel of WA announced a partnership with the CODA – Centre of Decommissioning Australia Australia this week. CODA works closely with industry players such as Woodside Energy and BHP, government and the community on decommissioning Australia’s ageing oil and gas infrastructure. Late-last year GSWA submitted a development application for its planned $400 million Collie steel recycling plant. “Decommissioning… will result in a significant amount of equipment and materials which will require disposal (recycling), including over 3.5 million tonnes of scrap steel, most of which (89%) is located within Western Australia” said GSWA in a Linkedin update. “As part of this newly formed partnership, GSWA will work with CODA to maximise opportunities to recover and locally recycle these materials in its Collie Green Steel Mill.”

GMG begins trading on OTCQX 

Brisbane-headquartered Graphene Manufacturing Group began trading this week on the OTC Markets Group financial market (OTCQX) under the symbol “GMGMF”. The OTCQX Best Market is for established, investor-focused U.S. and international companies, and qualifying for it means meeting high financial standards, best practice corporate governance, demonstrated compliance with US securities laws and other standards, said GMG. GMG’s Managing Director and CEO, Craig Nicol, said: “As part of our capital markets access plans, we are delighted to broaden the Company’s exposure in the U.S. market through this upgrade.  It is a major step toward our corporate development in North America.”

Picture: Last year’s Central Coast Industry Festival (supplied)

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