Innovation Metals Corp. (IMC) has entered into non-binding Letters of Intent (LOIs) with three leading rare-earth exploration and development companies (future producers), for the toll processing of mixed rare-earth-element (REE) concentrates. These concentrates will be separated into high-purity rare-earth oxides (REOs) and other compounds, at an independent, centralized critical REE separation facility planned for Becancour, Quebec.
Two of the future producers trade on the TSX Venture Exchange, with the third trading on the Australian Securities Exchange. They will toll feedstock concentrates rich in critical middle and heavy REEs, as well as neodymium (Nd), a critical light REE. In addition to the three new LOIs, IMC has an existing non-binding LOI in place with Geomega Resources Inc., for the processing of Nd-rich concentrates.
“We are delighted to announce these LOIs with leading companies in the rare-earth sector,” said Patrick Wong, CEO of IMC. “The LOIs now in place represent the fulfillment of the initial 7,500 t REO / year capacity that IMC is planning for Phase 1 of the Becancour separation facility, with the potential for additional capacity requirements from the same future producers.”
IMC is also in ongoing discussions with other future producers, with a view to completing additional LOIs, to fulfill the Phase 2 capacity at the Becancour separation facility. The company has also recently invited a select number of future producers to participate in its current capital raise, as a means of securing their future separation capacity.
“We believe that toll separation via an independent facility provides the most effective means for future producers to realize the full value of their rare earths,” said Gareth Hatch, President of IMC. “Financial institutions recognize the flaw in business models based on selling intermediate REE concentrates, given the lack of customers and the significantly lower values associated with these materials.”
As announced last month, IMC has retained Collins Barrow Toronto LLP to provide advisory services on a non-brokered private financing, to raise up to $5,000,000 in gross proceeds, for its ongoing development program.