MONTREAL, Québec – October 16, 2017 – Argex Titanium inc. (TSX: RGX) (“Argex” or “the Corporation”) is pleased to announce the completion of its tests on its pigment grade titanium dioxide product (TiO2). The analyses were made in comparison with three of the major competitive commercial products in the market and our TiO2 pigment meets or exceeds the standards of all of these in various tests required for commercial use.
External labs were validating the Argex results throughout the period.
The Company will now focus on producing samples for clients, on average one to two kg of finished product per week, creating an inventory to be available for potential users. Management of Argex met with the top potential clients at the TiO2 World Summit last week and generated a lot of interest for its product.
The process used to produce Argex TiO2 is the basis for engineering of a commercial plant which will replicate the quality of the samples tested in comparison with other major suppliers in the market.
Engineering work on the planned Technology Center will support the process technology in commercial licensing arrangements and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, with project activity to commence at the beginning of the New Year, pending financing.
Argex is in advanced discussions with a Federal governmental agency specialized in supporting technological innovation to participate in the financing of the Technology Center.
“Regarding the Argex process, all five islands have been mass balanced on multiple ore sources. Solvent Extraction has been continuously operated for steady state performance in 24 hour-periods, and hydrolysis has been repeated more than 150 times. Calcination and drying have been repeatedly conducted at production process conditions, grinding produces the proper size range, and finishing is done with a reactor identical to that used by paint producers in their laboratories. Product quality has been verified by repeated analytical techniques on multiple samples”, said Carroll Moore, COO of Argex Titanium.
“The development works and collaboration with external parties to achieve these milestones have been extensive, and we are gratified that we have proven the commercial application of the Argex process, the product quality being exactly comparable to the best available in the market today”, said Mazen Alnaimi, Chairman and CEO of Argex Titanium. “With this data base of results, there is no doubt in my mind that a commercial process design can be established which will replicate the process developed in pilot scale at Valleyfield”, he added.
Mr. James P. Berresse has resigned as a director of the Company. Argex thanks Mr. Berresse for his valued contribution as a director. Argex’s Governance, Nominating and Compensation Committee will commence a search to fill the vacancy on the Board of Directors.
Multiple Tests achievements
· Every test comparison that was run in the pilot plant over the last twelve months was based on product specifications of two of the top six pigment producers. Every comparison for size distribution and oil dispersion has been run against one or both of these materials.
· Standard specifications include composition, color, TiO2 content, oil dispersion, Loss on Ignition (LOI) on final product, and comparative morphology by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
· Argex has run American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard methods on its product for applicable methods for dry pigment analysis.
· We have compared the morphology of our product against three of the top six commercial products in SEM up to 100,000 magnifications. Such magnification is important because each particle can be visualized individually and evaluated on its characteristics, such as shape, sintering and de-agglomeration. Our product is equivalent to three of the top six commercial products in SEM comparisons.
· We have run our product in XRF and XRD at McGill University for composition and this analysis has been validated in collaborator’s laboratories. This provides impurity measurements and degree of crystallization to evaluate remaining anatase content. The conclusion is that our product is 100% rutile.
· Our product in oil dispersion is comparable and somewhat higher to two commercial products.
· On white color, our product consistently measures higher than two commercial products in intensity, blue and yellow tint character, and is similar or higher in gloss.
· Depending on coating composition, our product is 92.5 to 95.0 wt% TiO2 which is within specification range. Commercial products on the market advertise a similar range of composition depending on application.
· On Transmission Electron Microscopy tests (TEM), we show a coating depth of 3-6 nm and the specified level is nominally 5 nm which would be uniform on a perfectly spherical particle.
· Our final product size range is smaller than two other commercial products. Our mean size after milling is between 210-230 nm which is the perfect range for masking in a paint formulation.
· Our product meets or exceeds the quality of the major competitive products in the market. Paint testing is a secondary issue with respect to product quality and is a subjective test run by paint industry users. With this degree of analytical background on our product there is no technical reason the material would not pass a standard paint test and this will be verified in more than one lab in the next few weeks.
About Argex Titanium
Argex Titanium Inc. has developed an advanced chemical process for the volume production of high-grade titanium dioxide (TiO2) for use in high-quality paint, plastics, cosmetics and other TiO2 applications. The Corporation’s unique proprietary process uses relatively inexpensive and plentiful source material from a variety of potential vendors to produce TiO2, along with other valuable by-products. Argex’s process provides a significant cost and environmental advantage over current legacy TiO2 production methods.
This news release contains statements that may constitute “forward-looking information” or “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information and statements may include, among others, statements regarding future plans, costs, objectives or performance of Argex, or the assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. In this news release, words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “likely”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “estimate” “target” and similar words and the negative form thereof are used to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at or by which, such future performance will be achieved. No assurance can be given that any events anticipated by the forward-looking information will transpire or occur, including additional closings of the private placement referred to above, or if any of them do so, what benefits Argex will derive. Forward-looking statements and information are based on information available at the time and/or management's good-faith belief with respect to future events and are subject to known or unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other unpredictable factors, many of which are beyond Argex's control. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, but are not limited to, those described under “Risk Factors” in Argex’s Annual Information Form for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com; they could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. Argex does not intend, nor does Argex undertake any obligation, to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements contained in this news release to reflect subsequent information, events or circumstances or otherwise, except if required by applicable laws.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Argex Titanium Inc.
Corporate Communications and Investor Relations
Argex Titanium Inc.
Gladys - it's been 2 months since the Aug 9 corporate update. Where are things at on what was mentioned? There are a number of activities that shareholders need to be updated on. - Sample Validation - how has Argex not heard ANYTHING from anyone in 2+ months? - Where does the PP stand? Is it closed? Did the other commitment come in? - Is the Basic Engineering Package complete yet? - What has Thibault and associates done to date regarding engineering validation? When is Capex/Opex confirmation expected? - Where are discussions at with the land owner of the prospective plant site? - How much of the detailed equipment design is done to date? - Any updates from the Quebec Gov't on environmental permittance of plant? I'm sure I'm forgetting others but this is a laundry list of question marks that the market needs to be updated on.