Medallion Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: MDL; OTCQB: MLLOF; Frankfurt: MRDN) acquired a license from Hasler Ventures LLC for exclusive rights to Purdue University-developed rare-
The license provides Medallion with a portfolio of technology, patents and know-how for ligand-assisted displacement (LAD) chromatography to deploy in the separation and purification of rare-earth elements (REE). The rights are assigned from Hasler Ventures and are licensed by Purdue Research Foundation.
The LAD system, developed by Linda Wang, the Purdue Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor of Chemical Engineering, is built upon a well-understood and widely used platform that provides an environmentally safer method for REE separation with low technology risk.
“We believe this acquisition is a pivotal moment for Medallion, that will enable substantial downstream value to be added to our existing mineral sand monazite business model as well as delivering new opportunities for sublicensing of REE separation technology to third parties,” said Mark Saxon, Medallion President and CEO. “After extensive review (Sept. 25, 2020) of over 25 competing separation technologies, we believe Linda Wang’s LAD technology has the potential to be REE-industry changing and will become an important part of Medallion’s rare-earth element processing capability. We are excited to be working with Linda Wang and her Purdue team.”
Medallion’s licensing with the Purdue technology is through a collaboration with Hasler Ventures LLC. Hasler Ventures was formed by Dan Hasler, who retired from Purdue in March 2020. At that time, Hasler Ventures optioned the technology. Hasler served Purdue as executive vice president for communications and previously served five years as president of Purdue Research Foundation, where he became familiar with Wang’s work.
“Linda and her colleagues have dedicated decades of research to developing this process, and her effort and innovation has delivered one of the most promising and environmentally safe methods to separate and purify rare-earth metals,” Hasler said. “Her LAD technology could enable the U.S. to more safely utilize these critical resources from domestic sources and aligned nations, rather than remaining reliant on Chinese suppliers and high-environmental impact solvent-based processes.”
Rare-earth elements include the 15 elements in the lanthanide series, plus scandium (Sc) and yttrium (Y). They are essential ingredients for magnets, metal alloys, polishing powders, catalysts, ceramics, and phosphors, which are important for high-technology and clean-energy applications. The global REE market is estimated at $4 billion annually and growing at about 8% per year.
LAD chromatography technology
LAD chromatography is designed as a greener REE extraction and purification process compared with conventional solvent-based extraction methods and aligns well with Medallion’s strategy of minimizing the environmental footprint of REE production. The LAD method operates in aqueous solutions and delivers high yield while supporting superior chemical recycling, excellent productivity and efficiency without harsh or toxic chemicals. The system design is fully scalable and can expand in line with production or demand requirements.
Wang’s LAD technology was highlighted in a Journal Green Chemistry paper in 2020, titled “Two-zone ligand-assisted displacement chromatography for producing high-purity praseodymium, neodymium, and dysprosium with high yield and high productivity from crude mixtures derived from waste magnets.” This research, which has been applied to primary raw material feedstock, has provided high-purity (>99%) Nd, Pr, and Dy with high yields (>99%) with productivity exceeding 100x the existing market-leading technology.
Dan Hasler will join Medallion’s Advisory Board and represent Medallion Resources in sub-licensing and partnership opportunities.
Medallion’s REE production approach
Rare-earth element demand growth is closely linked to low-carbon emitting technologies, including wind energy and electromobility, where efficiency is enabled by high-strength REE permanent magnets.
The company has developed the Medallion Monazite Process, a proprietary method and related business model to achieve low-cost, near-term REE production using mineral sand monazite. Monazite is a rare-earth phosphate mineral globally available as a byproduct from heavy mineral sand-mining operations.
The Medallion Monazite Process was developed using “best available technology” (BAT) principles and is consequently a highly optimized and automated design that is transferable in location and scalable in size as REE demand grows. The process reflects the current and future expectations of REE customers in the rapidly growing electric vehicle and wind energy markets by providing the lowest-impact, most sustainable and most resource-efficient primary raw material sourcing available.
The Medallion Monazite Process uses byproduct materials that currently pass to waste in the mineral sand industry, or to Chinese customers and, therefore, additional mining is not required. The process produces zero liquid waste, has a high degree of energy and chemical reuse and regeneration, and can convert greater than 95% of monazite feed to commercial REE and phosphate products.
As announced in September 25, Medallion completed an independent comparative study of the various opportunities in REE separation, led by Dag Eriksen and Kurt Forrester. The review focused on identifying a technically and economically attractive separation method to be paired with the Medallion Monazite Process, while seeking a lower environmental impact compared to conventional solvent-based extraction methods. Some 25 different technology and business opportunities were reviewed and ranked, resulting in the current decision to invest in LAD chromatography in partnership with Purdue University.
Monazite is used today as a source of REEs in both China and India, where it is considered an attractive feedstock due to its high REE content (up to 65% REE by weight) and the relatively high abundance of the magnet metals neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr).
About Hasler Ventures LLC
Hasler Ventures believes that the key to a secure domestic supply chain of rare-earth metals and strategic independence in rare-earth metals from China is the ability to separate and purify in an economical, environmentally friendly way. Purdue University invented and patented Ligand-Assisted Displacement Chromatography offers this capability to U.S producers of both recycled and ore-sourced rare-earth metals.
About Purdue Research Foundation
Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University’s land-grant mission by helping the university improve the world through its technologies and graduates. Established in 1930, PRF is a private, nonprofit foundation. The foundation helps patent and commercialize Purdue technologies; builds places to encourage innovation, invention, investment, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and makes equity available to students to finance their Purdue education. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at email@example.com. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Purdue University
Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at purdue.edu.
About Medallion Resources
Medallion Resources (TSX-V: MDL; OTCPK: MLLOF; Frankfurt: MRDN) has developed a proprietary process and related business model to achieve low-cost, near-term, rare-earth element (REE) production by exploiting monazite. Monazite is a rare-earth phosphate mineral that is widely available as a byproduct from mineral sand mining operations. REEs are critical inputs to electric and hybrid vehicles, electronics, imaging systems, wind turbines and strategic defense systems. Medallion is committed to following best practices and accepted international standards in all aspects of mineral transportation, processing and the safe management of waste materials.