TORONTO, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Innovation Metals Corp. this week announced a proposed joint-venture partnership with Advanced Material Japan Corporation, to build a new rare-earth separation facility in Southeast Asia.
The new facility, expected to be completed in mid-2012, will process rare-earth concentrate feeds from a variety of sources, in Asia and elsewhere.
"The rare-earths industry is so critical, yet so fragmented, that many issues arise from not having a common voice," said Patrick Wong, CEO of Innovation Metals Corp. "Most customers do not wish to become miners and would rather focus on securing supply differently, with less risk. In addition to the Asian facility, in the longer term we are also looking to create a strategic tolling facility, owned by end-use customers and located in North America. We will also establish a rare-earths marketing board, and other innovative mechanisms for helping producers and end-users alike, within this market place."
"Advanced Material Japan Corporation is one of Japan's leading rare-metal trading companies, and we are very pleased to be finalizing the details of proposed joint venture with them," added Mr. Wong. "This will be one of the few non-Chinese facilities of its type."
In its initial phase, the facility will handle a volume of 1,100 tpa of rare-earth concentrate, with a view to increasing the plant's capacity for higher throughput as appropriate.
"With a planned initial production capacity of 1,100 t of rare-earth oxides per annum, the proposed facility will be modular and readily scalable," Mr. Wong said. "It should be highly cost-competitive, and will take advantage of low labor and processing costs."
"Innovation Metals is developing customer-led solutions designed to meet the specific needs of rare-earth trading houses and procurement departments," said Dr. Gareth Hatch, President of Innovation Metals Corp. "The company's approach will help to address some of the structural challenges facing the rare-earths sector outside of China. This new facility forms the first phase of that approach."
The facility will produce predominantly light rare earths including lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, and neodymium, although some heavy rare earths such as europium and gadolinium will also be available.
"Advanced Material Japan Corporation looks forward to working with Innovation Metals Corp. on this project. It will allow us to provide additional sources of rare-earth supply to our existing customers, and will help us to reach new customers, too," Mr. Furkhat Faizulla, head of Advanced Material Japan Corporation's overseas department, commented.
About Innovation Metals Corp.
Innovation Metals Corp. is a Toronto-based provider of downstream processing and marketing services to the strategic-metals industry, with a particular focus on rare earths.
Mr. Patrick Wong, CEO
Innovation Metals Corp.
SOURCE Innovation Metals Corp.