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HXG Commences Funding the Commercialization of RapidSX? Rare-Earth Elements Separation Technology

The date of: 2019-12-19
viewed: 1

source:GlobeNewswire (press release)

TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hexagon Energy Materials Limited (ASX:HXG) (“HXG”, “Hexagon” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has commenced funding of the Phase-One commercialization of RapidSX? rare-earth element (“REE”) separation technology for REE concentrates.

Per HXG’s October 10, 2019 ASX announcement (“Hexagon Enters US-based Rare Earth Downstream Processing Industry”), the Company has executed a binding Investment Agreement whereby Hexagon has secured an option to acquire a 49% interest in RapidSX? for REEs - an advanced, proprietary low-cost downstream REE separation technology developed and piloted by Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”). With US$1.8 million in funding assistance from the US Department of Defense, IMC’s proprietary RapidSX separation technology holds the potential to cost-effectively enable current and future REE producers to move downstream into REE separation. This would potentially mitigate current concerns about the extreme concentration of the REE supply chain with greater participation by Western producers and manufacturers.

HIGHLIGHTS

HXG has agreed to commence funding the Phase-One commercialization of the RapidSX Commercial Demonstration Plant (“CDP”) from existing cash for the following development and commercialization initiatives:

RapidSX Front-End Engineering Design (“FEED”) Study for the CDP to provide an independent overview of the capital budget and schedule prepared by IMC, as well as some early extrapolations on capital costs for a full-scale commercial plant based on specific mixed REE chemical concentrate feedstock types.

Securing RapidSX Intellectual Property by finalizing provisional patent applications on the RapidSX technology and related flow sheets, initially in the United States.

The incorporation of American Innovation Metals (“AIM”) in the United States. AIM will serve as the incorporated joint venture vehicle for HXG and IMC to commercialize RapidSX.

The AIM business case is underpinned by:

Substantial CAPEX and OPEX savings compared to traditional SX separation processes which are competitive with Chinese separation costs; savings which have already attracted significant end-user interest.

A ‘capital-lite’ revenue model. RapidSX is planned to be licensed to users in exchange for variously structured licensing fees, but essentially leveraged to the capital cost savings, volumes and value of separated REE oxides (“REOs”).

Explosive global demand forecasts for REE’s over the next decade with the growth of REE permanent magnets (“REPMs”) used in renewable energy projects, electric vehicles (“EVs”) and a wide range of military and high-tech applications.

Substantial market opportunity. Current primary REE oxide (“REO”) market size of more than 183ktpa with a market value of US$3.4B; forecasted to grow 60% (to 293ktpa) in terms of market size and forecasted growth of more than 85% (to US$6.3B) in market value by 2025. Certain sectors are projected to have significantly higher growth rates, with the use of REEs for EV traction motors projected to grow by 350% between 2018 and 20251, demonstrating the considerable potential scale of the AIM business.


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