TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Near-term titanium dioxide (TiO2) producer Argex Titanium has decided to establish a comprehensive research and development (R&D) base at Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, near Montreal in Quebec, the site of its planned first industrial-sized TiO2 plant.
The company on Wednesday said the move would entail a consolidation of all the company’s production and R&D operations at one site, including the relocation of its current 10 kg/d test facility in Mississauga, southern Ontario, to Valleyfield, where it would serve as a training tool for the future operators of the industrial-sized plant.
Argex said it expected the move to result in cost savings and allow it to benefit from the Quebec government's tax credit regime for its R&D initiatives. Centralising these activities was also expected to enhance protection of the firm’s intellectual property as well as that of its subsidiary Canadian Titanium, which owns its proprietary CTL process to extract TiO2 from phosphate mining tailings.
TiO2 is an important industrial chemical used to manufacture food and paint pigments, as well as being used in plastics and UV-blocking pigments.
"The Argex R&D centre will drive ongoing innovation as we continue on the pathway to production. The close integration of our R&D activities with the development of our industrial-scale plant has many operational advantages which we expect will ensure optimal performance at the plant,” Argex VP of technology and COO Enrico Di Cesare said.
Argex said as part of the relocation process, it intended to significantly increase the TiO2 production capacity of the pilot plant, which could translate into significant cost savings for sample production and faster production times to better serve Argex's potential customers and collaboration partners.
"Our R&D activities will enable us to focus on the optimisation of our production methods in order to meet the highest industry standards as we seek to add value to our TiO2 product through continued innovation in collaboration with partners in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical, plastics, and architectural and industrial finishes industries,” Argex president and CEO Roy Bonnell said.
Earlier this year, the company was recognised as one of the top-performing companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.
On Wednesday, the company’s stock shed 2.06% to trade at C$0.95 apiece. In the last year, the company’s stock had lost about 19.17% of its value.