Ucore Rare Metals Inc., a development-phase mining company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, has executed a binding Share Purchase Agreement with privately-held Canadian company Innovation Metals Corp. (IMC) and its shareholders, whereby Ucore will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of IMC.
With the acquisition, Ucore gains IMC’s proprietary RapidSX™ technology for the separation and purification of critical metals including rare earth elements (REEs), lithium, nickel and cobalt.
RapidSX is an accelerated solvent-extraction-based separation technology which has reportedly proven highly effective at the pilot scale in separating both heavy REE (HREE) and light REE (LREE) feedstocks to commercial-grade rare-earth oxides (REO), with expected significant technical and economic efficiencies relative to existing technologies.
The technology combines the proven chemistry of solvent extraction (SX) technology (the REE industry’s current standard bulk commercial separation technology) with a new column-based platform, which significantly accelerates separation performance, resulting in smaller process-plant size and lower expected capital and operating costs. IMC is currently working on the utilisation of RapidSX with other feedstocks, including nickel and cobalt from Ni-Co concentrates and lithium from Li brines.
Ucore also announced that it has received subscription agreements pursuant to a concurrent C$2.8 million convertible debenture financing, said to be integral to the acquisition as the proceeds will be used to progress the development and deployment of the RapidSX technology and the related further advancement of the company’s M3 Plan of Action.
Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Ucore has agreed to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of IMC for an aggregate purchase price of C$5,801,000 (the Acquisition Consideration). The Acquisition Consideration will be made up of 45,383,412 common shares of the company (Acquisition Shares) and C$1,000 in cash.
In accordance with the purchase agreement, the Acquisition Shares were deemed to have a value of C$0.1278 per common share, which is equal to the five-day volume-weighted average price of the company’s common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) as at the close of trading on April 24, 2020.
Additionally, upon the closing of the acquisition, Ucore will provide IMC with a C$500,000 non-interest-bearing intercompany loan for the immediate continued development of RapidSX. IMC is expected to have no other liabilities upon the closing of the acquisition.
Pat Ryan, Ucore Chairman, stated, “Ucore’s acquisition of IMC represents a significant opportunity for Ucore, its shareholders and all stakeholders, while accelerating our M3 Plan of Action. After significant study, the most convincing element of our analysis was understanding that RapidSX is not a ‘new’ technology but rather an important improvement on well-established, understood and industry-expected SX separation technology.”
He added, “We firmly believe that the RapidSX technology holds considerable merit for Ucore’s own prospective Alaska Strategic Metals Complex [the Alaska SMC] as discussed in our M3 Plan of Action as well as industry-wide commercialisation, in particular due to the scalable and modular nature of RapidSX.”