Advanced Marine Coatings

Long term bio-fouling control trials continue to show
encouraging results with different coatings

Advanced Marine Coatings

Calix awarded $1m to develop Biotechnology manufacturing capability in Australia

We are pleased to announce we have been awarded the maximum $1m grant under the Australian Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) to develop and transform our Biotech manufacturing capability at our Bacchus Marsh facility in Victoria.

  • The MMF support will assist Calix to transform the development of, and establish an advanced manufacturing capacity for, bio-active materials for crop protection, marine coatings, and health and pharmaceuticals applications at its Bacchus Marsh facility in Victoria.
  • The funding will support Calix’s recent capital raising for additional lab and production facilities for its Biotech line of business, and free up current capacity constraints on its Advanced Battery Materials program, which currently shares many common facilities.

“We are delighted to have been awarded the maximum MMF grant of $1m to help advance our Biotech manufacturing capability at our Bacchus Marsh facility in Victoria. The grant will supplement our recent capital raise to advance our Biotech business, and free up existing resources, which will be focused on our Advanced Batteries development.

Our development of crop protection products, marine coatings and potential future applications in health and pharmaceuticals will benefit greatly from this assistance.

We thank the Australian Government for its support of Australian manufacturing industries which will assist the development of high value products for domestic and export markets.” Phil Hodgson, CEO and MD. 

The tightening of the use of chemicals continues, especially in Europe

Afepasa presents AFEPASA Mg (incorporating Calix’s BOOSTER-Mag magnesium hydroxide) for pest control at the Fruit Attraction Conference, as a way to reduce the normal chemical dose against mildew, in an efficient, profitable, and sustainable way.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the EU announced it will be banning the fungicide Mancozeb due to off-target toxicity potential.

45 years after introduction, Mancozeb is widely used globally to manage a range of crop diseases and is a key active for the control of diseases in onion, potato, and grape. It joins a list of 44 substances already banned in the last 2 years, with another 11 still to be decided on later this year.

AFEPASA Mg has been designed to reduce the consumption of agrochemicals & the pressure of diseases & agricultural pests, in an effective, profitable & sustainable way.  

Calix’s European bioactive magnesium oxide (MgO) partners have now completed another successful summer of field trials which have shown further compelling evidence our bio-active materials provide multi-spectrum benefits including magnesium (Mg) augmentation and disease and insect pest suppression

Results from the Netherlands indicate that Calix’s bioactive materials promoted healthier onion crop and performed well when used as a substitute for Mancozeb in grower standard treatment programmes.

Accordingly, planning by our partners is underway to extend the application of Calix’s materials in a wider range of crops including green-house, potato, flower bulbs and cereal crops.

Results from Italy and Spain indicate the intrinsic disease suppression efficacy of Calix’s materials allowed the use of conventional pesticide actives (commonly used in viticulture for both powdery and downy mildew control) to be substantially reduced without compromising outcomes.

Calix’s unique bioactive materials are derived from natural minerals and are non-toxic and non-bio accumulative.

Applied as a foliar spray, they provide plants with a highly assimilable source of magnesium and strengthen the plant against abiotic and biotic stress. Calix’s bioactive materials are safe, sustainable and enhance grower productivity.

BOOSTER-Mag for Crop Protection

Robert van Merkestein presenting BOOSTER-Mag

BOOSTER-Mag is a safe, low cost, environmentally sustainable and easy-to-apply foliar spray that can improve productivity and natural resistance to pests and diseases. We are pleased to have recently executed a fourth Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) for BOOSTER-Mag with another multinational crop protection company.


We seek engagement with key opinion leaders (Australia & Overseas) with an interest in:

  • Grower Productivity  developing compatible and complementary IPM methodology
  • Grower Safety and Production Sustainability
  • Collaboration, evaluation and early adoption of innovation

Calix is focussed on the achieving the following outcomes in parallel:

  • Field evaluations to develop efficacy data and application know-how
  • Introduction as a foliar treatment to improve on-farm productivity, simplicity, safety & sustainability
  • Registration as a anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and insect pest control product  Australia


Calix continues to build the BOOSTER-Mag efficacy dossier necessary to achieve registration as a plant protection product in Australia.

A series of field tomato trials were completed over the 18/19 Australian summer to further quantify the effect of BOOSTER-Mag treatment on crop health and productivity.

The results show that relative to untreated controls, BOOSTER-Mag treatment coincided with statistically significant suppression for a range of damaging pests:

• Helicoverpa spp. (cotton bollworm): Victorian and Queensland trials yielded consistent and positive data with treatment in both trials reducing fruit damage at harvest by between 60 to 77%.

• Aleyrodidae (white Fly): Victorian trials indicate BOOSTER-Mag treatment coincided with a 65% reduction in pest pressure.

• Tetranychus urticae (two spotted mite). Queensland trials indicate BOOSTER-Mag treatment suppressed motiles (adults & nymphs) to greater extent than the grower standard chemical treatment.

Feeding a growing human population

Global population growth means that food production needs to increase by 70% by 2050. It’s time to rethink how we grow and consume our food. If done right, agriculture and aquaculture can provide nutritious food for all, while generating decent incomes to support and protect rural development and the environment.

BOOSTER-Mag update

2020 promises to be a great year for BOOSTER-Mag, with registration as a crop protection product now submitted and pending in Australia, and many more developments globally both in the lab and the field.


AFEPASA was founded in 1893 by Juan Pallarés Bosch under the name of ‘Azufrera y Fertilizantes Pallarés, SAU’. It began its business activity with the commercialisation of salt and installed a mill for its grinding. In a short time, it extended its activity to the milling of sulphur for agricultural use, focused mainly on the marketing of the product for crop protection, achieving a strong position in vine cultivation. In the 70s, and thanks to the fact that sulphur became an essential element in industrial processes, new markets opened up, such as the rubber, tyre, metallurgy and animal feed industries. In 2002, a new production centre was opened in Constantí, one of the most modern sulphur refineries in Europe, built under the concept of development sustainable in the future.

AFEPASA Mg commercialisation strategy

With more than 125 years of experience, AFEPASA is committed to protecting the environment and contributing towards sustainable agriculture. With this aim, it bases activity on one fundamental pillar: innovation in all its products and manufacturing processes. Made using Calix technology, AFEPASA Mg shares the key physical attributes and benefits of Calix nano-active MgO and Mg(OH)2 materials, including the non-lethal, beneficial insect suppression of crop pests and pathogens but without the health and safety concerns associated with standard crop protection chemicals. AFEPASA believes the product will be an important new tool for preventative crop protection and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programmes and will let growers substantially reduce conventional pesticide use, improving grower sustainability, productivity and improving safety outcomes for both growers and consumers.

AFEPASA managing director Manuel Montana said:

“For over 125 years, AFEPASA has supplied sulphur fertilisers and products for the sustainable control of crop pests and diseases. Calix’s bioactive magnesium hydroxide has the potential to be a powerful and highly complementary addition to our mineral fertiliser and crop protection portfolio.”


Results from further field trials.

AFEPASA Mg, containing Calix’s “nano-active” MgO, was introduced to a conventional treatment program, reducing the normal chemical dose on vines against powdery mildew.

Applying AFEPASA Mg enabled the farmer to reduce normal chemical treatment by 25%, as well as achieving a better crop protection outcome against powdery mildew, a notoriously difficult grape disease to treat.

Additionally, AFEPASA Mg alone was able to achieve a crop protection outcome nearly as good as conventional chemical treatment.


Meanwhile in Australia…

With the support of AusIndustry and grant funding provided through its Accelerated Commercialisation programme, Calix has now completed a five-year development and testing programme culminating in the January 2020 submission of a technical dossier to the APVMA* in support of the application by Calix for the registration of BOOSTER-Mag as a crop protection product in Australia. The initial label will describe its use in the suppression of whiteflies, two-spotted mites, thrips and aphids in tomatoes and cucurbits. These initial label claims will be extended in the future to cover additional pests, pathogens and crops.

All agricultural products that have or claim a clear role in pest, weed, or plant disease control must by law be assessed by the APVMA before they can be legally sold in Australia. For farmers, food producers, the chemical industry and the general public, registration indicates that claims have been rigorously assessed and verified and the product may be supplied or sold, and used safely, according to the label directions. This is another great milestone for BOOSTER-Mag.

*Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is the Australian Government statutory agency responsible for the management and regulation of all agricultural and veterinary chemical products in Australia.

Making Crop protection safer

Calix and Afepasa enter 10-year distribution licence agreement for agriculture product

Calix Ltd (ASX:CXL) has executed its first bioactive magnesium hydroxide (known as BOOSTER-Mag) distribution agreement with Afepasa – – a European leader in sulphur-based fertiliser and crop protection products.

The distribution licence agreement for the magnesium hydroxide, known internally as BOOSTER-Mag, covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa for a period of 10 years as well as the marketing of Calix bioactive materials under Afepasa branding.

Manuel Montano, Managing Director of Afepasa, said:

“For over 125 years, Afepasa have supplied sulphur fertilisers and products for the sustainable control of crop pests and diseases. Calix’s bioactive magnesium hydroxide has the potential to be a powerful and highly complementary addition to our mineral fertiliser and crop protection portfolio.”

Calix’s safe and sustainable bioactive magnesium hydroxide materials have been under development for agricultural applications for over four years, with extensive testing over consecutive years on a variety of crops in Australia, Asia and Europe. Calix has demonstrated grower productivity, safety and sustainability can be substantially enhanced through thorough testing. The agreement targets a total addressable chemical crop protection market of over US$10b which is under increasing regulatory and sustainability pressures.

Calix’s commercialisation strategy for its bioactive materials through has been to pursue
a sales and marketing licensing model with crop protection companies and distributors, whilst continuing to manufacture active materials in-house. Calix commenced this process in 2017 and today marks a significant milestone in the first phase of execution with Afepasa.


Calix’s key milestones in this process are:

1. Initiate contact with the world’s largest crop protection companies (22 engaged).

2. If high level BOOSTER-Mag results already achieved are of interest – put in place Confidentiality Agreements and disclose more detailed data (12 in place).

3. If a counter-party wishes to progress commercial and technical negotiation – invest in their own due diligence (DD) trials – put in place Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) to cover Intellectual Property terms and conditions to protect Calix’s interests as well as agreed trial scope and protocols (4 in place).

4. Proceed to license distribution arrangements (1 in place – covering Europe, Middle East and Africa)



Phil Hodgson, Managing Director of Calix, said:

“Development of new agricultural products takes time and significant investment. As a result it is very pleasing to have reached this significant milestone through partnering with a company of the reach and experience of Afepasa. We look forward to working with them to deliver the full potential of this application.”

Booster-Mag Safety Data Sheet