KPM will support IMC's technical work as IMC scales its technical work and development related to RapidSX.
The announcement comes just weeks after Ucore said it was examining various locations for a commercialization-phase facility where it can, in time, conduct demo-scale work with customer feedstock.
That location - half of KPM's pilot facility in Kingston, Ontario, Canada - has now been selected and secured. Li-Cycle currently is housed in the oher half and performs lithium-ion battery recycling.
The RapidSX separation and purification technology was developed for rare earth elements, including both heavy and light REEs, for the production of REE oxides (REOs) and other critical metals including lithium, nickel and cobalt for lithium-ion battery materials. It was developed with the aid of US Department of Defense funding of US$1.8 million, monies that helped it grow to its pilot scale.
"KPM is happy to support the development of the innovative RapidSX technology and the business strategy of Ucore and IMC, for the securing of installed REO manufacturing capacity in North America," the new lab partner said.
"The development of an individual REE separation and purification plant is Ucore's targeted first commercial development component of our strategy," chairman and interim CEO Pat Ryan said.
"In order to meet this critical objective and in the shortest timeframe possible, our planned Alaska Strategic Metals Complex will be designed to have the ability to produce REOs from commercially available, US allied-sourced REE feedstocks, addressing US security of supply for the most critical and highest-value REEs, specifically praseodymium, neodymium, terbium and dysprosium.
"We expect the Alaska SMC to operate at a commercial scale utilizing pre-Bokan mixed REE concentrate feedstocks while the Bokan HREE project continues to be developed."