GEH announced in April that it is looking to exit GLE, due to changes in business priorities and the continuing difficult market conditions. Silex subsequently successfully negotiated and executed a term sheet with GEH securing an exclusive option to acquire GEH’s 76% interest in GLE, and the right to assign in part or in whole the acquisition terms to third parties. Accordingly, Silex has taken the lead on the search for new investors for GLE. Discussions continue with a number of parties interested in investing in GLE and the SILEX technology commercialisation program.
In November, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and GLE sign a 40-year agreement or the sale and purchase of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6). The agreement, which facilitates the sale of approximately 300,000 MTU of ‘high assay’ DUF6 to GLE, paves the way for the potential construction of a SILEX laser enrichment facility in Paducah, Kentucky, to re-enrich the tails inventories.
Work continues at reduced pace on the commercialisation of the SILEX laser uranium enrichment technology at GLE’s test loop facility in Wilmington, North Carolina (with GLE funding) and at Silex’s Lucas Heights laser facility in Sydney (under Silex funding).
In September, Silex subsidiary Translucent Inc’s unique semiconductor technology known as ‘cREO™’ was exclusively licensed to IQE Plc based in the UK. Under the terms of the License and Assignment Agreement, IQE has 30 months in which to elect to acquire Translucent’s technology. Translucent ceased its Californian operation in December 2015 following the successful transfer of the technology and commercialisation program to IQE.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) selects GLE for future operations at its Paducah, Kentucky Site. The DOE and GLE commence negotiations for a 40-year contract to have the SILEX Technology commercially deployed for the re-enrichment of depleted uranium tails.
In June, Silex announces completion of a strategic review of the entire business, determining to refocus efforts on its primary economic asset, the SILEX laser uranium enrichment technology. The strategic review also involves an accelerated transition to market for subsidiaries Solar Systems and Translucent.
In July, GLE announces its own restructure in response to worsening trading conditions in the global nuclear fuel markets, initially triggered by the events in Fukushima, Japan in March 2011. The changes result in the consolidation of GLE’s operations. Importantly, the key commercial terms of Silex’s licence agreement with GLE do not change.
In May, GLE and Silex achieve the successful completion of the Test Loop Program Phase I Milestone: Technology Demonstration and Validation in Wilmington, North Carolina – triggering a US$15 million milestone payment from GLE to Silex (which was received in July 2013).
Silex lists on the OTCQX exchange in the US under the symbol ‘SILXY’ in June.
In September, the US NRC approves the world’s first Construction and Operating License for a commercial laser enrichment plant utilising the SILEX Technology at Wilmington, North Carolina.
Silex successfully completes an $89 million capital raising and a share purchase plan which raises a further $20 million.
In April, GLE and Silex announce the successful completion of the Test Loop initial measurement program.
In August, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announces it has accepted GLE’s license application to construct and operate a commercial SILEX uranium enrichment facility in Wilmington, triggering a ~36 month review process.
In July, GLE announces the on-schedule start-up of the Test Loop to evaluate the next-generation SILEX Uranium Enrichment Technology.
GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC (GLE), formed as a subsidiary of GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to commercialise the SILEX Technology, announces it has selected its Wilmington, North Carolina, headquarters site for the first commercial SILEX uranium enrichment facility.
GLE is notified that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved a license to operate the Test Loop for the demonstration of the next generation SILEX Laser Uranium Enrichment Technology.
GEH and Cameco Corporation announce that Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, has joined the GLE venture. Cameco paid US$123.8 million for a 24% stake in GLE. GE retains 51% ownership with Hitachi at 25%.
Transfer of the SILEX Uranium Enrichment Project to GE’s Wilmington, North Carolina (USA) nuclear fuel plant is completed in the first half. Hitachi joins GE as project partner.
GE-Hitachi signs Letters of Intent for uranium enrichment services and support using the SILEX Technology with Exelon and Entergy - the two largest nuclear power utilities in the US.
Silex successfully completes a $50 million capital raising in October.
Silex and the General Electric Company sign an exclusive Technology Commercialisation and License Agreement for the SILEX laser uranium enrichment technology in May, with US Government authorisations received in October.
Silex successfully commissions the world’s first silicon laser enrichment pilot plant.
The SILEX Uranium Enrichment Project achieves a key milestone with the first full demonstration on practical uranium enrichment using the SILEX ‘Direct Measurement Facility’ at Lucas Heights, Sydney.
The SILEX Technology is officially Classified by the US and Australian Governments. The implications of classification relate mainly to security protocols.
An Agreement for Cooperation between the US and Australian Governments is signed, paving the way for continued development of the SILEX Technology for uranium enrichment, and facilitating its future transfer to the US.
The first macroscopic demonstration of the SILEX uranium process is successfully achieved.
Silex wins the 2000 Australian Technology Award for Excellence in the Manufacturing and Engineering sector.
Silex raises $36 million through a share issue to assist in funding the development of its technology.
Silex lists on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) under the symbol ‘SLX’.
Silex is divested from Sonic Healthcare Limited and sets about establishing the commercial viability of the SILEX Technology.
‘Proof of Principle’ demonstration of the SILEX Process is achieved at the Company’s laboratories in Lucas Heights, Sydney. Uranium enrichment, the largest market for isotope separation, becomes Silex’s primary focus.
The unique principles of the SILEX (Separation of Isotopes by Laser EXcitation) Process are formulated.
Silex begins researching the isotope separation concepts of co-inventors Dr Michael Goldsworthy and Dr Horst Struve.
Silex is established by founder Dr Michael Goldsworthy as a technology research and development subsidiary of Sonic Healthcare Limited, an Australian publicly listed company.