Innord receives CA$1.5 million in funding for bauxite residue pilot plant project
Geomega Resources Inc.'s subsidiary, Innord Inc., has been awarded $1.5M funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for the construction of a pilot plant and completion of a feasibility study using Innord's technology which is designed for a sustainable and complete valorization of bauxite residues (BR) (the project).
The project cost is estimated at $4M, towards which Rio Tinto will invest $1.2M, the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation through Investissement Québec of the Government of Québec with the Programme Innovation has provided $300K, and Geomega will contribute $550K. The remaining $450K is intended to be funded by a third-party organization towards the later stages of the project. The collaborative research work will be led by Dr. Pouya Hajiani, Geomega's chief technology officer, and will be performed by Innord's research team in collaboration with Rio Tinto's R&D team.
"Bauxite residue, the waste generated from aluminum production, requires significant management and monitoring from mining companies to avoid environmental impacts. Innord Inc. is developing a process that reduces the volume of red mud by 70 to 90 percent while recovering valuable minerals from that waste. SDTC is pleased to provide funding to help Innord Inc. scale up their solution to make the industry more sustainable." says Leah Lawrence, CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
"We look forward to continuing our partnership with Geomega to support their development of this technology aimed at finding new uses for bauxite residue, the waste from the alumina refining process," said Rio Tinto's director of by-product valorization, Stephane Poirier. "This has the potential to not only reduce the environmental footprint of aluminum production but to also deliver new sources of materials such as critical minerals needed to support a low carbon future."
"Investing in green aluminum is a strategic move for Quebec's economy and the future of our manufacturing. We will continue to support any project that gives us a competitive edge in this area," said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development.
"Over the course of the last 12 months, Innord's research team has worked closely with technical experts from our partner Rio Tinto to deliver a bench-scale study project and is now prepared for the next stage of scale-up. The project, estimated to be completed over the next 24 months, will include the construction of a pilot plant, to be installed and commissioned at Innord's facilities in Boucherville, which will ultimately form the basis for a techno-economic feasibility study of the process. The feasibility study will be used to assess the environmental performance of the technology and address the marketability of the final products. If this feasibility study is successful, it is intended that the consortium will continue to work together to bring the BR valorization process to commercialization." commented Dr. Pouya Hajiani, Chief Technology Officer of Geomega and Innord.
Ownership of the intellectual property developed through the research work associated with the project will remain with Innord.
The announced funding from all parties is non-dilutive to both Geomega and Innord. The SDTC funding is subject to successful negotiation of a Project Funding Agreement (PFA) with SDTC. The PFA is expected to be entered into shortly.