Innovation Metals to scale up REE oxides extraction technology

IMC’s pilot-scale RapidSX system. (Image courtesy of Innovation Metals Corp.).

Innovation Metals Corp. announced that it has started an optimization and commercialization program to scale up its RapidSX technology.

The technology is designed for the cost-effective bulk separation and purification of rare earth elements – including both heavy REE and light REEs – for the production of REE oxides. It also allows for the processing of other critical metals such as lithium, nickel, and cobalt for lithium-ion battery materials.

The technology is designed for the cost-effective bulk separation and purification of rare earth elements for the production of REE oxides

In a press release, the company said that the objectives of the current RapidSX development program include the validation of previous RapidSX REE technical work; the optimization of the physical design of the RapidSX platform at a demonstration-scale; the validation of the specific process flowsheets developed for particular REEs, including multiple U.S.-allied-sourced commercial REE feedstocks currently under consideration; the initial generation of REO qualification samples for potential customers and licensees for evaluation; the creation of inputs required for the design of commercial-scale RapidSX HREE and LREE separation facilities; and the initiation of a detailed techno-economic assessment of RapidSX-based separation, as part of the commercialization process.

“IMC will evaluate and test multiple specific LREE and HREE commercially available, U.S.-allied-sourced feedstocks to develop a comprehensive dataset that will demonstrate the versatility of the RapidSX technology for REE separation, and the robustness of the mathematical process model used to accelerate optimization,” the media brief states. 

According to Innovation Metals, the commissioning of its demonstration plant is targeted for Q2 2021. This means that following the operations to validate the flowsheets and hardware configurations, the comprehensive techno-economic study mentioned above will be conducted and the design of a commercial-scale REE separation facility will be finalized.

The second phase of this plan – the firm said – is presently targeted for completion in Q4 2021.

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