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.”
In June 2014, IMC joined the first phase of a REE supply-chain development program, led by Technology Metals Research, LLC (“TMR”) with US$1.2M in funding from the US Army Research Laboratory (“ARL”), part of the US Department of Defense. This first phase enabled the Company to operate a 130-stage, lab-scale conventional REE SX separation pilot plant in 2014 and 2015. Results from this work will be presented at the IMPC meeting in September 2016, to be held in Quebec.
In 2015, IMC began work to improve the conventional SX process, through its participation in a $1.7M second phase of the TMR / ARL development program. The Company evaluated a number of avenues before focusing on its current RapidSX approach.
“The RapidSX process utilizes the time-proven chemistry of SX, in a set of proprietary columns filled with a simple contact medium,” commented Gareth Hatch, President of IMC, co-founder of TMR and the Principal Investigator for the ARL-funded program. “The process avoids the need for expensive resins or other separation approaches unproven at scale.”
The RapidSX approach has been used at the bench scale to successfully separate a number of REEs from REE concentrates, with purities greater than 99% being obtained.
“We have successfully shown that the RapidSX process is effective at the bench level,” said Dr. Hatch. “The next step is to demonstrate the process at scale. IMC has just completed the commissioning of a pilot-scale RapidSX facility and will begin operating it later this month.”
The RapidSX process has garnered significant interest from current and future REE producers around the world. “The process has changed our entire business model.” said Mr. Wong. “5 years ago we truly believed that REE separation should only be centralized, but with our technology, it is now cheap enough, small enough and easy enough to operate, for every REE producer to have its own separation plant. In fact, a RapidSX plant could replace existing SX infrastructure, in the REE industry, as well as for metals such copper, cobalt, nickel, uranium and the like. The RapidSX process also has the potential to benefit the heavy mineral-sands industry, where an on-site RapidSX plant could be used as part of the process of monetizing waste monazite.”
IMC will be hosting tours of its RapidSX capabilities at facilities in Mississauga, Ontario, during PDAC Week (March 6-9, 2016). Interested parties are invited to contact the Company for more details.
About Innovation Metals Corp.
Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”) is a private Canadian-based company and the developer of the patent-pending RapidSX™ process, for the separation of REEs and other technology metals. The company will provide low-cost REE separation to producers and assuring security of supply for end users and sovereign governments.
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.