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:: New Rare Earths Separation Process Based on Ion Migration
Geomega Resources has signed a cooperation agreement with FFE Service, based in Munich, Germany. The cooperation’s objective is to develop a high-throughput (metric tonnes/day) rare earth elements separation process based on free flow electrophoresis technology. The companies believe that this electric separation process has the potential to dramatically reduce the capital currently required to build solvent extraction facilities. “Our efforts in research and development over the last 22 months have led us to electrophoretic mobility of ions and two patents pending. The separation process in development exploits free flow electrophoresis technology to create separation between the rare earth elements.
The cooperation with Dr Weber, a world leader in free flow electrophoresis, provides an important value-added partner and independent validation. China controls the rare earth elements supply chain with the solvent extraction separation method. Our process uses electricity to create separation between the rare earth elements providing a durable and cost competitive alternative” said Simon Britt, President and CEO of Geomega.
Electrophoresis is the migration of charged species (ions, proteins, particles) in solution in the presence of an electric field. Each ion moves toward the electrode of opposite electrical polarity. For a given set of solution conditions and electric field intensity, the migration velocity depends on a characteristic number called the electrophoretic mobility. The electrophoretic mobility is directly proportional to the charge to size ratio of the ion. Geomega has filed patents in multiple jurisdictions to protect its novel separation process. Pouya Hajiani supervises the separation process and was instrumental in its development. In exchange for the conclusive development of the separation technology, the company will grant, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, 1,000,000 common share purchase warrants at an exercise price corresponding to the weighted average of the company’s share price during the five trading days preceding the conclusion of the technology agreement. The warrants become exercisable upon demonstration of high purity (>99%) separation, in a pilot plant using the separation technology, of the following lanthanides from the Montviel concentrate: neodymium (Nd), dysprosium (Dy), europium (Eu) and praseodymium (Pr).
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