Geomega Resources Inc. (“GéoMégA” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that Innord Inc. (“Innord”), a private subsidiary controlled by GéoMégA, has successfully completed separation of a synthetic mixture of three rare earth elements (“REE”), using its own initial prototype in the lab facility in Boucherville. Innord now has two operational electrophoreses prototypes with all the knowhow in-house.
The successful separation testing was based on three elements: Lanthanum (La), Europium (Eu) and Ytterbium (Yb). Working with three elements enables validating and comparing the results to those obtained in 2014, as initial test work back then was completed in collaboration with FFE Service GmbH (Germany) on the same three elements (see January 15, 2014 news release).
Two of the main objectives set forth in the current phase of development, maximizing the throughput capacity and minimizing the cost, were successfully handled to date. The two prototypes show a significant reduction in footprint as each prototype is several times smaller in comparison with that used in 2014. More importantly, testing to date is conducted in a liquid which contains 18 fold more REE per unit volume and work continues to increase the REE concentration further. Cost reduction is just as apparent. Each prototype is approximately one tenth in cost of that used in 2014. In addition, power consumption of the system per kg of REE has been lowered significantly during the latest optimization tests. Similar to previous tests, separation of multiple elements occurs simultaneously which remains one of the main advantages of the electrophoresis separation technology.
“Our initial module is of a flexible design that allows us to adjust the various parameters required for separation with electrophoresis. Having such a device in-house is a significant advantage as it allows us to run a multitude of testing conditions on the fast track, helps us in further understanding and improving REE separation using electrophoresis. As we advance, tests will continue on other synthetic concentrates, commercial concentrates, secondary feeds and test work to achieve high purity oxides. Our objective is to further improve the technology using current prototype and then use that knowledge to build a larger unit that will be able to process rare earth on a higher scale.” comments Dr. Pouya Hajiani, Chief Technology Officer of GéoMégA.
“Reduction in size and cost combined with an increase in concentration bodes well with the modular approach of the company which we expect will allow for a gradual increase in processing capacity while minimizing the capital risk. With the initial prototype now operational but with lots of test work, modeling and construction of a larger prototype ahead of us, we are entering an exciting period of our phase 1A which we would like to complete in Q4 of 2016. We believe our modular approach gives our Company a lot of flexibility regardless of the market conditions. As a matter of fact, a technology that is not feed dependant (can process heavy or light primary feeds or secondary feeds), offers a solid opportunity to gradually penetrate the market while advancing our Montviel project and be in a favorable position to build a REE mine in Québec when the markets improve.” comments Kiril Mugerman, President and CEO of GéoMegA.
All the tests and assay analyses were performed at Innord’s laboratory at the National Research Council Canada facility in Boucherville, Canada. The analyses were completed on every sample using ICP-EOS spectrometer.
Dr. Pouya Hajiani, process inventor and engineer and CTO of GéoMégA supervised and approved the technical information of this news release.