Quebec Government supports development of rare earths separation technology
Geomega Resources is receiving the support of the Quebec Government, as part of the Plan Nord program, and of the Réseau Capital Baie-James, specifically the Soc de développement de la Baie-James (SDBJ) and the Administration régionale Baie-James (ARBJ), by investing in the share capital of Innord to develop its proprietary separation process of rare earth elements.With this injection of additional funds, Innord, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GéoMégA, will receive a total of $500,000 from the Fonds du Plan Nord, the SDBJ and the ARBJ. A total of $250,000 will be held in escrow pending TSX Venture Exchange approval of the final documentation. Upon receiving of all the funds, GéoMégA will control 96.1% of Innord. The goal of this investment is to develop the process prototype to separate mixed REE concentrate into pure individual rare earth oxides.The Société du Plan Nord is a strategic government partner that has common goals with GéoMégA and that is to develop a sustainable and competitive value added REE industry in northern Québec and Canada. The three main points of focus for the Plan Nord include the development of the economic potential of the region, the support of the development of the communities in the area and the protection of the environment. Innord’s proprietary separation process has the potential to meet all three of these objectives. Whether it is through exploiting the natural resources of northern Quebec like the REE/Nb Montviel project or through processing REE enriched recycled materials, industrial residues and by-products, separation into pure individual rare earth oxides is key in establishing a REE industry that in turn brings jobs to the area and helps develop the nearby communities. Furthermore, Innord’s separation process has the potential to significantly improve the environmental performance of REE separation in comparison to conventional techniques (i.e. SX and fractional precipitation) thus ensuring that the creation of an environmentally sustainable REE industry.“After working tirelessly on demonstrating credibility in our process innovation, we are excited to be able to say now that we have the support of both the Provincial and the Federal governments through Quebec Government’s Plan Nord, the SDBJ and the ARBJ and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP, see August 13, 2015 news release). Having the support of the Plan Nord is a significant boost in support for Innord and its electrophoresis technology. We are excited to be able to count on the support of the Soc du Plan Nord, the SDBJ and the l’ARBJ in bringing the rare earth industry to Quebec.” comments Pouya Hajiani, Chief Technology Officer of GéoMégA and the inventor of the physical separation process.Innord is a wholly owned private subsidiary of GéoMégA with the goal to develop and optimise the proprietary separation process of rare earth elements based on electrophoresis, for which it holds all the rights. Electrophoresis is the migration of charged species (ions, proteins, particles) in solution in the presence of an electric field. Innord has filed patents in Canada and the USA to protect its novel separation process and is looking to file in other jurisdictions.