Shares in Silex Systems Ltd (ASX: SLX) are rocketing to a multi-year high today. The lift comes despite no news out of the nuclear energy and semiconductor company since late last month.
At the time of writing, the Silex share price is up 16.98% trading at $1.86 apiece, after touching a high of $1.95 in early afternoon trade. In comparison, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is up 0.36% to 7,733 points.
What’s driving Silex shares higher?
Investors are buying up Silex shares as the uranium sector heats up, with peer companies also enjoying strong gains.
In its 30 August release, Silex advised it completed a key milestone in the Zero-Spin Silicon (ZS-Si) Project.
ZS-Si is a key enabling material for the next generation of processor chips to power silicon quantum computers.
The recently constructed prototype demonstration facility started operations with initial testing for the production of ZS-Si underway. This marks the fourth major accomplishment in the project for the company.
Silex now plans to conduct silicon enrichment tests, focussing on process characterisation, optimisation and efficiency improvements in the coming months.
Once the ZS-Si finalises the second stage, production is expected to be ramped up by the end of 2021.
A third stage, involving industrial-scale process verification will follow producing initial commercial quantities of ZS-Si commencing in late 2022.
What does this mean?
Current methods for the production of enriched silicon are limited and costly with only a few kilograms produced annually.
If the ZS-Si Project is successful, it could potentially enable Australia to establish itself as a world leader in ZS-Si production. In addition, this would create a new value-added export market.
Demand for ZS-Si as silicon-based quantum computer is anticipated to gain traction globally over the next decade.
The project is supported by collaboration partners, Silicon Quantum Computing and the University of New South Wales. Funding comes from the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects.
Silex share price summary
In the past 12 months, the Silex share price has produced returns of around 220%, and has doubled in value year-to-date. Compared to this time last month, the share price has moved 80% higher.
Silex presides a market capitalisation of about $309.9 million, and has 173 million shares on issue.