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Voyageur Minerals Ltd. and IMC Sign MOU for Worldwide Rights to High-Purity Barite Technology

March 20th, 2018  

CALGARY, Alberta, March 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)Voyageur Minerals Ltd. (“VM” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:VM) is pleased to announce that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), to access IMC’s proprietary processing technology for the production of high-purity barium sulfate (“barite”).

IMC is a private Ontario-based company that develops cost-effective separation and purification processes for the critical-materials industry.

“With this innovative technology, VM will be able to direct its future barite production towards the highest-value customers within the high-end industrial barite market space,” said John Rucci, President & CEO of VM. “Today, 100% of high-purity barite in the US and Canada rely on foreign imports, primarily from China. With access to this new technology, Voyageur moves forward with its goal of providing customers with a local source of multiple industrial grades.”

The IMC technology will allow VM to produce consistent high-grade barite suitable for multiple industrial grades, including the pharmaceutical market and high-end filler markets, including reagents, paints and plastics.

“The US government considers barite to be a mineral of critical and strategic importance to US national and economic security,” commented Gareth Hatch, President of IMC, “as most recently embodied in Executive Order 13817 issued on December 20, 2017 by President Trump. We look forward to working with Voyageur Minerals to bring North American sources of this important mineral to the market.”

Production Plant
On completion of pilot-scale testing, a commercial-scale demonstration plant (the “Demo Plant”) will be built, capable of producing 2,000 tonnes per year of high-purity barite. Production will initially begin from a 10,000-tonne bulk sample. After the Demo Plant is completed and tested, VM plans to increase production to 6,000 – 10,000 tonnes per year.

The Company has been working with IMC to test the technology and initial results indicate that pharmaceutical-grade barite (99.5%+ purity) can consistently be achieved. Pharmaceutical-grade barite currently sells for between US$2,800 – US$7,500 per tonne (FOB China).

VM is in discussions with a number of key players in the pharmaceutical and high-end barite industry. As the Company advances the project, it will work to secure potential off-take supply agreements.

Any cash flow from operations will fund continued exploration of VM barite deposits, focusing on expanding potential resources. Voyageur will also utilize cash flow for the further development of the Company’s lithium projects in Utah, USA.

Terms of MOU and Proposed Joint Venture
The MOU proposes the creation of a joint-venture company (the “JV”) between VM and IMC. Following completion of pilot-scale testing, VM will fund the construction of the Demo Plant, with the JV structured to give VM 75% and IMC 25% ownership of the JV. Once the JV has achieved mutually agreed minimum production rates, VM will have the right to buy IMC’s 25% ownership of the JV at fair market value. If VM buys out the 25% IMC interest, IMC will retain a 1% net profit royalty, which can also be purchased by VM for CAD$1,000,000, for up to five years after commercial-scale production commences.

About Voyageur Minerals Ltd.
Voyageur Minerals Ltd. (“VM” or the “Company”) is a Calgary-based company which owns a 100% interest in three barium sulfate (“barite”) deposits, including two properties which initial work suggests are suitable in grade for the industrial and pharmaceutical barite market place.

The Company also has interests in two high-grade lithium brine projects in Utah, USA. VM’s business plan is to develop its barite deposit at Frances Creek, British Columbia, for potential near-term cash flow, while it continues exploration for critical and strategic minerals.

About Innovation Metals Corp.
Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”) is a private Ontario-based company and the developer of the RapidSX™ process, a patent-pending, low-cost approach to the separation of lithium, REEs, nickel, cobalt, barite and other critical materials. IMC provides low-cost separation capabilities to current and existing metal and minerals producers, assuring security of supply for end users and sovereign governments.

Qualified Person Statement
Mr. Randy Henkle, P.Geol, is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 guidelines, and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.

Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements including statements regarding the acquisition of future assets, the discovery and commercialization of commercial quantities of industrial minerals, the successful commercialization of the Company’s assets, expected operational activities, other statements that are not historical facts. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not occur, which may cause actual performance and results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the risk that the assets do not provide commercial quantities or grades of marketable minerals, that even if they do contain commercial quantities of marketable minerals that the Company will not be able to economically produce such discoveries, the acquired technology will not work in the field, the existence of commercial grades of commercial minerals, timing of obtaining required approvals, state of the economy in general and capital markets in particular, investor interest in the business and future prospects of the Company.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities law. Additionally, the Company undertakes no obligation to comment on the expectations of, or statements made, by third parties in respect of the matters discussed above.

Natural Resources Canada Awards Contract to IMC and Metalysis for Research on the Production of Rare-Earth Oxides and Alloys

February 16th, 2018  

TORONTO, February 16, 2018 – Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), a private company specializing in cost-effective processing solutions for critical metals, is pleased to announce the recent award of a research contract from Natural Resources Canada (“NRCan”), for work on the production of rare-earth- element (“REE”) oxides and alloys.

The contract was awarded as part of NRCan’s Rare Earth Elements and Chromite R&D Program. NRCan is the Canadian government department that oversees the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural-resources products.

During the research project, REE solutions will be prepared at the facilities of Ontario-based Process Research Ortech Inc., followed by the precipitation and calcination of REEs from these solutions to produce high-purity REE oxides. IMC will then work with UK-based Metalysis Limited (“Metalysis”), to study the co-reduction of the REE oxides with other metals to produce REE alloys. Metalysis is a UK technology company with a unique, solid-state process to produce valuable metal and alloy powders primarily used in 3D printing, aerospace and automotive applications.

“The cost-effective production of REE metals and alloys from separated REE oxides, is an essential component of developing an independent REE supply chain outside of China,” said Dr. Gareth Hatch, President of IMC. “This project is a natural progression of our previously successful work on the production of separated REE oxides via IMC’s RapidSX™ process. We look forward to working with Metalysis to demonstrate an effective, integrated path for REE alloy production.”

REEs exhibit a range of special properties. Their use in components manufactured from a wide range of REE alloys and compounds are essential to the performance of numerous engineered systems for the green-energy, electronics, defense, aerospace and other sectors.

“We are pleased to partner with IMC and NRCan and eagerly anticipate the results of combining our know-how during this project,” said Dr. Ian Mellor, Managing Director of Metalysis’ Materials Discovery Centre. “Metalysis’ process can produce a wide range of advanced alloys and REEs are an area of substantial research interest, which we look forward to exploring together.”

“This research supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to a low-carbon future. Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient technologies will drive Canada’s sustainable growth in the mining sector for generations to come,” said the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources.

The research project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2018.

About Innovation Metals Corp.
Innovation Metals Corp. is a private Canadian-based company and the developer of the RapidSX™ process, a new, patent-pending approach to the separation of rare-earth elements, lithium, nickel, cobalt and other technology metals, via an accelerated form of solvent extraction. The company will provide low-cost separation and purification processes to the critical-metals industry, enabling mining companies to compete in today’s global marketplace.

About Metalysis Limited
Metalysis is a UK technology company with a unique, solid-state process to produce valuable metal and alloy powders primarily used in 3D printing, aerospace and automotive applications.

The process, originally invented at the University of Cambridge, UK, and commercialized by Metalysis, is more environmentally friendly and energy efficient than traditional melting technologies. With commercial partners in industry and academia, Metalysis uses its process to produce titanium alloys, and also niche, high-performance alloys of major interest in advanced manufacturing industries.

The Company is completing its Generation 4 (“Gen 4”) expansion in the UK, taking production to industrial scale.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains projections and statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian, United States and other laws. Forward-looking statements in this release may include, among others, statements regarding the future plans, costs, objectives or performance of Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), or the assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In this news release, words such as “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, “likely”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “goal”, “estimate” and similar words and the negative forms thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are beyond IMC’s control, and which may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of IMC to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results and IMC’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information. IMC can offer no assurance that its plans will be completed. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, IMC assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.

IMC Announces Successful Laboratory-Scale Separation of Lithium from Lithium Brines and the Potential Production of Battery-Grade Lithium Carbonate Using Proprietary Low-Cost RapidSX™ Process

January 22nd, 2018  

TORONTO, January 22, 2018 – Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”) is pleased to report on the successful separation of lithium from lithium brines, and the potential production of battery-grade lithium carbonate powders, using its proprietary RapidSX process for the low-cost separation of technology metals.

The patent-pending RapidSX process has previously been used to successfully separate rare-earth elements (“REEs”), nickel, cobalt, copper, tungsten, molybdenum and other metals to high purities, from various virgin and end-of-life feedstocks. The process was more recently applied to the separation of lithium from ‘real-world’ lithium brines, provided by a major international engineering company (the “Engineering Company”). The RapidSX process was originally developed as a result of IMC’s participation in a recent process-development program, funded by the US Army Research Laboratory, part of the US Department of Defense.

“Using the RapidSX process, we have been able to produce lithium carbonate powders with purities of >99.7% lithium, with respect to magnesium, potassium and calcium, impurities typically found in lithium brines,’ said Patrick Wong, CEO of IMC. “The final stage in the process is the removal of sodium from these materials; once this work has been completed, the result will be battery-grade lithium carbonate, and IMC will be poised to take the process to the pilot scale.”

A unique feature of the RapidSX approach to lithium-brine processing, is the avoidance of emulsion and other chemistry issues that typically arise when conventional solvent-extraction (“SX”) processes are attempted. IMC has worked closely with a major manufacturer of specialty reagents for mining and minerals processing, to identify the suitable chemistry required for the process.

Lithium carbonate is a critical precursor material for the production of cathodes and electrolytes for Li-ion batteries. Demand for Li-ion batteries is accelerating, driven by the growth in current and projected future production rates of electric vehicles and energy-storage systems.

“While our RapidSX approach is applicable to various forms of lithium and other feedstocks, we are particularly excited about its potential application to the in-situ processing of lithium brines,” commented Gareth Hatch, President of IMC. “locating low-footprint, modular RapidSX processing systems on-site will enable certain end users to extract lithium from the lithium brines and then put the residual solutions back into the brines. Where practical, this will result in a closed-loop system that eliminates the need for evaporation ponds and the lengthy timescales required by current processing approaches. It also has the potential to increase lithium recoveries by 20-25%, since this is the amount typically lost in evaporation ponds.”

IMC estimates that the overall footprint for a 25,000 t/ year RapidSX-based lithium-brine processing plant would be less than 2,000 sq m. Initial independent economic analysis of the IMC approach by the Engineering Company, indicates that the estimated capital expenditure required for such a plant would be in the region of US$60-70 million, significantly lower than for current, conventional approaches. IMC continues to work with the Engineering Company in the review of the ongoing test work and associated economics.

IMC’s approach is of particular interest for the processing of lower-grade lithium brines, where current processing approaches are uneconomic. The Company is also looking at alternative configurations for the processing of lithium brines, which would enable the capture of other valuable metals present. These credit metals would further reduce the overall costs associated with the new approach to lithium-brine processing. IMC plans to file a new patent application for the application of the RapidSX process to lithium-brine processing.

“This ability to process lithium brines is a welcome addition to IMC’s existing portfolio of processing solutions for the critical-materials supply chain,” said Mr. Wong. “IMC is actively engaged with various major engineering, mining and junior exploration companies, as we work to commercialize the RapidSX process for the production of metals of vital importance to numerous green-energy applications.”

About Innovation Metals Corp.
Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”) is a private Canadian-based company and the developer of the RapidSX process, a patent-pending, low-cost approach to the separation of lithium, REEs, nickel, cobalt and other technology metals, via solvent extraction (“SX”). The company will provide low-cost separation capabilities to current and existing metal producers, assuring security of supply for end users and sovereign governments.

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains projections and statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States laws. Forward-looking statements in this release may include, among others, statements regarding the future plans, costs, objectives or performance of Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), or the assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In this news release, words such as “may”, “could”, “would”, “will”, “likely”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “goal”, “estimate” and similar words and the negative forms thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are beyond IMC’s control, and which may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of IMC to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results and IMC’s plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking information. IMC can offer no assurance that its plans will be completed. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking information are based on estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by law, IMC assumes no obligation to update forward-looking information should circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions change.

IMC Announces the Successful Separation of High-Value Rare-Earth Elements from Mineração Serra Verde Concentrate Using the RapidSX™ Process

August 11th, 2016  

TORONTO August 11, 2016 – Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), a private Canadian company and the developer of the patent-pending RapidSX™ process, announced today the successful completion of a demonstration program to produce commercial-grade Pr-Nd oxide, using feedstock from the Mineração Serra Verde (“MSV”) deposit in Goias State, Brazil. IMC’s proprietary RapidSX solvent-extraction (“SX”) process was developed for the low-cost separation of rare-earth elements (“REEs”), nickel, cobalt and other technology metals.

Pr-Nd oxide is in increasing demand for the production of high-performance permanent magnets, used in a wide variety of industrial, automotive, defense and clean-tech applications. read more

IMC Announces Successful Pilot-Scale Separation of Nickel and Cobalt from Laterite Ores Using Proprietary Low-Cost RapidSX™ Process

August 5th, 2016  

TORONTO, August 5, 2016 – Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC” or “the Company”) is pleased to report on the successful separation of nickel and cobalt from nickel-laterite ores at the pilot scale, using its proprietary RapidSX™ process for the low-cost separation of technology metals.

The patent-pending RapidSX process has previously been used to successfully separate rare-earth elements (“REEs”) from concentrates (as recently announced in IMC’s news release dated February 18, 2016). The process was more recently applied to the separation of nickel, cobalt and other valuable metals, from a pregnant leach solution (“PLS”) produced from a bulk sample provided by a major miner of nickel-laterite ores. Commercial-grade (99.6%+) purities were obtained. read more

IMC Announces Successful Testing of Proprietary Low-Cost Rapid Solvent Extraction Process

February 18th, 2016  

TORONTO, February 18, 2016 – Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC” or “the Company”) is pleased to report on the successful testing of its proprietary rapid solvent-extraction (“RapidSX”) process, for the low-cost separation of rare-earth elements (“REEs”) and other technology metals.

“The patent-pending RapidSX™ approach reduces the number of SX separation stages by over 90%,” said Patrick Wong, CEO of IMC, “leading to a significant reduction in plant footprint and associated capital expenditures. The process also leads to dramatic reductions in operating costs and time to process completion, when compared to conventional SX.” read more

IMC to Participate in US Department of Defense Rare-Earth Project and Launches Lab-Scale Solvent Extraction Pilot Plant Program

June 5th, 2014  

TORONTO, June 5, 2014 – Innovation Metals Corp. (IMC or the Company) today announced its participation in a new $1.2M rare-earth supply-chain development program, led by Technology Metals Research, LLC (TMR) and funded by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL), part of the US Department of Defense (DOD).

IMC joins a dozen other participants in the program, which will enable the Company to construct and to operate a 120-stage, lab-scale rare-earth-element (REE) pilot plant. The plant will be used to test solvent-extraction (SX) process-flow diagrams, for the extraction and separation of REEs, focused on the much sought-after heavy REEs. read more