Innord Inc., the wholly-owned subsidiary Geomega Resources Inc. [GMA-TSXV; GOMRF-OTCQB], has signed a term sheet with Rio Tinto Plc [RIO-NYSE, ASX, LSE] to enter into a development agreement for bauxite residues iron phase product. As part of the agreement, Rio Tinto will provide $1 million in funding for Innord to complete the required proof of concept work and the subsequent small scale locked cycle pilot plant at its Boucherville, Quebec facilities.
Following the announcement of the funding for a $4 million pilot plant and feasibility study of a sustainable and complete valorization of bauxite residues, Rio Tinto and Innord agreed to begin evaluating in parallel various opportunities to monetize the iron compounds produced by Innord’s Bauxite Residues Technology (IBRT). As part of the project, over the next 12 months, Innord has committed to develop and test an extension technology to IBRT to produce the desired product that will then be evaluated by Rio Tinto.
The Intellectual property developed from this project extension will be owned by Rio Tinto which is fully funding the project. Innord will receive a royalty payment for the underlying base technology (IBRT) upon commercialization of the technology and any production of commercial products. Details of the agreement between Geomega and Rio Tinto, including the royalty level, will remain confidential.
“We are excited to further extend our cooperation with Rio Tinto on bauxite residues. Iron is the largest component of bauxite residues, and we believe that this stream holds the keys to a successful implementation of Innord’s complete and sustainable valorization of said residues. This project will evaluate the added value transformation of the iron compound produced using IBRT, creating potentially new and more profitable markets for this product. A successful project has the potential to increase the commercial viability of IBRT and contribute to its expedited commercialization.” commented Kiril Mugerman, President and CEO of Geomega and Innord.
The announced $1 million of additional funding from Rio Tinto is non-dilutive to both Geomega and Innord. The project will be starting immediately, and the definitive development agreement is expected to be finalized later in 2022.
Bauxite residue is a by-product that is being generated during refining of alumina using the Bayer process. Innord’s technology for BR valorization builds on the processes originally developed for rare earth (REE) magnet recycling and extraction of REE from Montviel ore. The technology offers high reduction of waste volume, the recovery of valuable metal concentrates (iron, aluminum, REE, scandium, titanium) and effluents minimization by recycling main reagents.
Geomega develops innovative technologies for extraction and separation of rare earth elements and other critical metals essential for a sustainable future. Geomega’s core project is based around the ISR technology (Innord’s separation of rare earths), a proprietary, low-cost, environmentally friendly way to tap into a $1.5-billion global market to recycle magnet production waste and end-of-life magnets profitably and safely.
Geomega also owns the Montviel rare earth carbonatite deposit, the largest NI 43-101 bastnaesite resource estimate in North America and holds over 16.8 million shares, representing approximately 14% of the issued and outstanding shares, of Kintavar Exploration Inc. [KTR-TSXV; 58V-FSE], a mineral exploration company that is exploring for copper projects in Quebec.