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Innovation Metals Corp. Provides Development Update

The date of: 2021-02-02
viewed: 1
Innovation Metals Corp. Provides Development Update on RapidSX™ Technology for Near-Term Commercial Rare-Earth Elements Separation in USA



TORONTO, Feb. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide the following update regarding the Company’s ongoing commercialization development program for IMC’s RapidSX™ technology, at the RapidSX Commercialization and Development Facility (“CDF”) in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

IMC's proprietary RapidSX technology is being commercialized for the cost-effective bulk separation and purification of rare-earth elements (“REEs”) — including both heavy REE (“HREEs”) and light REEs (“LREEs”) — for the production of REE oxides (“REOs”), in addition to other critical metals, such as lithium (“Li”), nickel (“Ni”), and cobalt (“Co”) for lithium-ion battery materials.

Commissioning of the RapidSX demonstration-scale pilot plant (“RapidSX Demonstration Plant”) is scheduled to start in Q3 2021. A comprehensive, independent techno-economic study and the design of a commercial-scale REE separation facility are planned for completion in Q1 2022. IMC anticipates that RapidSX will be ready for commercial adoption and implementation by IMC’s customers via revenue-producing licensing agreements within 15 months (Q1 2022).

IMC President Tyler Dinwoodie stated, “The outlook and opportunity have never been stronger, and we firmly believe RapidSX holds the near-term potential to be a disruptive technology and a critical component in achieving domestic commercial REE production.”

“With the successful commissioning and operation of the RapidSX Demonstration Plant, IMC intends to demonstrate the potentially significant CAPEX and OPEX efficiencies with RapidSX compared to conventional solvent-extraction-based REE separation technologies, while maintaining the same or higher technical and QA/QC standards. More than ever before, a secure, complete domestic rare-earth supply chain can be realized quickly and cost effectively — from existing and near-term REE concentrate producers,” said Mr. Dinwoodie.

RapidSX REE Development Program

As announced on October 2, 2020, the RapidSX commercialization development program is being led by IMC CEO, Chairman, co-founder, and co-inventor of the RapidSX technology, Dr. Gareth Hatch and IMC COO and VP, Metallurgy, Dr. Kurt Forrester, in conjunction with Dr. Boyd Davis and Mr. Alain Roy, Principals of Kingston Process Metallurgy (“KPM”), supported by additional technical expertise and partners engaged by IMC for the program. As announced on June 23, 2020, KPM is IMC’s laboratory partner and has been supporting all aspects of IMC’s technical work to commence the optimization and commercialization program to scale up the RapidSX technology.

RapidSX REE Development Update

RapidSX Test Program Agreements with Multiple US-Allied REE Producers

The response by potential end users/licensees of the RapidSX technology for commercial REE separation has been excellent. IMC is in numerous advanced-stage negotiations for RapidSX Technology Testing Agreements (“TTAs”) with current and near-term REE producers in US-allied jurisdictions, to utilize RapidSX for the separation of specific end-user mixed REE concentrates (“MRECs”). IMC looks forward to providing further updates on executed TTAs in Q1 2021.

US-Allied-Sourced REE Feedstocks

IMC has been actively evaluating various commercially available US-allied-sourced LREE and HREE MRECs to develop a comprehensive dataset that will demonstrate the versatility of the RapidSX technology for REE separation. The evaluation process will lead to the final selection of one such MREC to serve as the initial REE feedstock for the forthcoming RapidSX Demonstration Plant. IMC expects to provide further updates on the MREC feedstock options being explored in Q1 2021.

Completion of the RapidSX Research Platform

IMC is pleased to announce the completion and successful commissioning of the new multi-column RapidSX Research Platform. Aside from demonstrating and validating the underlying technical capability and efficiencies of the RapidSX technology, the RapidSX Research Platform will be utilized for quantitative characterization and design optimization of the physical RapidSX hardware, independent of the chemistry of the separation applications. Additionally, the RapidSX Research Platform will aid in the characterization of process kinetics, as well as pH and equilibrium isotherms, and other critical parameters for various REE feedstocks. The RapidSX Research Platform will serve as the foundation for the initial design of large-scale proprietary contactors for the forthcoming RapidSX Demonstration Plant.

Engagement of Process Modeling Software Partner

In Q4 2020, IMC engaged an industry-leading process-modeling software provider for the development of IMC’s mathematical process-modeling tool (“Modeling Tool”). The state-of-the-art Modeling Tool will combine empirical results and datasets from the RapidSX Research Platform and other sources, with the thermodynamic and other mathematical equations required to effectively model solvent-extraction-based applications using the RapidSX technology. Once finalized, the Modeling Tool will provide IMC with the unique ability to rapidly test and to simulate large numbers of different test conditions, to determine the optimum RapidSX-based flowsheet parameters and equipment configurations for particular REE and other feeds, at commercial scale.

IMC looks forward to providing further updates on the commercialization of the RapidSX technology for the separation of HREEs and LREEs in the coming months.

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