Kingston Process Metallurgy – RapidSX™ Commercialization Laboratory Partner
KPM is IMC’s laboratory partner and will be supporting all aspects of IMC’s technical work to commence the RapidSX™ optimization and commercialization program to scale up the RapidSX™ technology. Established in 2002, KPM is a highly respected, industry-leading contract chemical-process development company based in Kingston, Ontario. With more than 40 employees, KPM specializes in commercial process development and optimization, with techno-economic and process modeling in parallel. KPM has the demonstrated expertise, multidisciplinary skills, and fundamental knowledge to develop concepts and solve unique challenges for its clients.
IMC’s technical work will be led by IMC CEO and Ucore CTO and Director, Dr. Gareth Hatch, CEng, FRSA, FIMMM, FIET and IMC COO and Ucore VP of Metallurgy, Dr. Kurt Forrester, CEng, MIChemE, MAusIMM(CP). KPM principals Dr. Boyd Davis and Mr. Alain Roy will oversee the program of work at KPM and will directly manage the RapidSX™ CDF.
With an accomplished career in chemical metallurgy with a focus on applied thermodynamics, Dr. Davis is a co-founder of KPM, is a former President of the Metallurgy and Materials Society (“MetSoc“) of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (“CIM“) and is an adjunct professor at Queen’s University in Kingston where he volunteers to supervise graduate students. He was also the originator and conference Co-Chair of the MetSoc, Society for Mining Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (“SME“), and the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (“TMS“) ‘Extraction 2018‘, the first global conference on extractive metallurgy.
Dr. Hatch and Dr. Davis have previously worked together in a number of aspects of the REE sector, including the Critical Rare Earth Elements Network. “IMC is thrilled to partner with KPM in the commercialization of RapidSX™,” said Dr. Hatch. “KPM has an accomplished track record of metallurgical process development and commercialization, with a particular emphasis on clearly establishing the techno-economic feasibility of processes and appropriate unit-operation selection early on in the commercialization process.”
“KPM is excited to work alongside IMC on this new venture,” said Dr. Davis. “We believe that this partnership is a significant step forward for U.S. and Canadian REE initiatives. KPM is happy to support the development of the innovative RapidSX™ technology and the business strategy of Ucore and IMC, for the securing of installed REO manufacturing capacity in North America.”
RapidSX™ Commercialization and Development Facility in Kingston, Ontario
“The development of an individual REE separation and purification plant is Ucore’s targeted first commercial development component of our strategy,” said Pat Ryan, P.Eng., Chairman and Interim CEO. “In order to meet this critical objective and in the shortest timeframe possible, our planned Alaska Strategic Metals Complex (“SMC“) will be designed to have the ability to produce REOs from commercially available, U.S. allied-sourced REE feedstocks, addressing US security of supply for the most critical and highest-value REEs, specifically, praseodymium (“Pr“), neodymium (“Nd“), terbium (“Tb“), and dysprosium (“Dy“). We expect the Alaska SMC to operate at a commercial scale utilizing pre-Bokan mixed REE concentrate (“MREC“) feedstocks while the Bokan HREE project continues to be developed.”
Effectively Addressing End-User Concerns
The purpose of the RapidSX™ CDF is to develop bulk/commercial capabilities for the separation and purification of HREEs and LREEs, in addition to other technology/critical metals, from commercially available feedstocks. The RapidSX™ technology is feedstock agnostic, having demonstrated the capability of separating and purifying materials from a variety of sources, in contrast to being tied to any one particular source.
Due to its modular configuration and reduced number of stages, RapidSX™ is capable of readily reconfiguring for separating LREE-rich, HREE-rich and/or even blends of mixed REE feedstocks. This presents significant competitive advantages to both Ucore and IMC, as the companies’ path to revenues are expected to be accelerated by utilizing existing, commercially available MRECs, not originating from China. Source optionality addresses consistently expressed end-user concerns regarding the risks of ‘sole sourcing’ materials. Considerable concerns regarding sole sourcing have been repeatedly communicated by end users, long before the global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on critical-materials supply chains.
American Critical-Materials Independence Starts Here
“Achieving Ucore’s goal of American critical-materials independence is contingent on scaling new, transformative technologies, like RapidSX™ – rapidly,” said Ucore President, Ty Dinwoodie. “The advantage of RapidSX™ is that it is not necessarily a ‘new’ technology, but rather a substantial improvement on the decades-old REE industry-standard SX separation technology. This speaks to the near-term and the important objective is to demonstrate independently the techno-economic merits of the technology in terms of commercial viability. This requires scaling RapidSX™ from lab-scale and demonstration-scale pilots to commercial scale as quickly as possible, while adhering to highest scientific and engineering standards. With KPM and our RapidSX™ Commercialization and Development Facility, we intend to do just that.”
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About Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
Ucore is focused on rare and critical metals resources, extraction and beneficiation technologies with potential for production, growth, and scalability. The Company has a 100% ownership stake in the Bokan-Dotson Ridge Rare Earth Project. Ucore’s vision and plan is to transition to become a leading advanced technology company that provides mineral separation products and services to the mining and mineral extraction industry. This vision includes the development of the Alaska SMC in Southeast Alaska and the development of the Company’s rare earth minerals property located at Bokan Mountain in Alaska.
IMC has developed the proprietary RapidSX™ process, for the low-cost separation and purification of REEs, Ni, Co, Li and other technology metals, via an accelerated form of solvent extraction. IMC is commercializing this approach for a number of metals, to help enable mining and metal-recycling companies to compete in today’s global marketplace. IMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ucore Rare Metals Inc.
For more information, please www.innovationmetals.com.