The company said extraction-rate testing of the RapidSX technology showed it was 10 times faster than conventional solvent extraction (SX) extraction of REEs.
The tests come as IMC is working on final column designs for a demonstration plant that will be built at IMC's RapidSX plant in Ontario, with construction and commissioning scheduled for later this year.
IMC's trials have focused on separating the highest-value REEs from Ucore's Bokan-Dotson Ridge heavy rare earth project in Alaska, specifically, terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), in addition to neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr).
Other commercialisation iniatives include simultaneous commercial hardware and software development. For instance, a RapidSX software tool will be used with the hardware platform during operation.
That tool will also verify an optimised flowsheet for mixed REE concentrate feedstocks.
Overall, IMC expects full commercial adoption by the third quarter of 2022, said the company.
"The results of the initial extraction-rate testing for the current RapidSX columns are highly encouraging," said IMC Chairman, CEO and co-founder, Dr. Gareth Hatch.
He added that additional extraction-rate testing will be held to validate and optimise platform parameters as IMC finalizes the design of the hardware for deployment in IMC's demo plant.