Argex has put in place a technical team and a project execution plan to minimize technical risk, maximize commercial viability and provide the link for a proper technology transfer from the process technology to the design of a commercial production facility. A six month Process Intensification Program has been planned by Argex to assure “commercial readiness” of the hydrometallurgical process technology. After three (3) months into the Process Intensification Program, Argex plans to launch Front-End Engineering Design (FEED/FEL3) work and the purchase of long delivery process equipment that will lead to plant design and construction.
In addition to the actions taken at the corporate level, immediate actions under the new budget measures include;
- The Technology (originally R&D) team will report to the consolidated Engineering & Technology team;
- The Engineering & Technology Manager and Project Director will continue to report to the Executive VP;
- The VP of Technology position has been eliminated, with the consequence of Enrico Di Cesare leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
- Mr. Tim McKeen from Thibault & Associates Inc. will be based at the Technology Centre as technical advisor and coordinator of the Process Intensification Program, reporting to the Engineering & Technology Manager;
- Mr. J. Dean Thibault, senior process chemical engineer from Thibault & Associates Inc. will provide technical input to the Process Intensification Program and finalizing process flowsheet design, reporting to the Engineering & Technology Manager;
- Mr. Kody Belliveau and Mrs. Stephanie Goodine, process chemical engineers from Thibault & Associates Inc. will support Argex’s engineering team. They will assist in bridging the link between the assessment of data from bench scale to pilot scale and commercial plant design; - Tecnicas Reunidas (TR) will assign one of their hydro-metallurgical experts to the Technology centre, once the bench scale Process Intensification Program is completed and will start the pilot scale Process Intensification Program. TR will further assist on the leaching and SX circuit, as well as gain knowledge for the purpose of the project.
“These operational changes are necessary as we are getting closer to project build. We would like to thank Enrico for his important contributions in bringing the technology to where it stands today”, commented Roy Bonnell, President and CEO of Argex.
Thibault & Associates Inc. specializes in the development of process technology, assessment of production economics and design of industrial processing facilities within the metallurgical, hydrometallurgical and chemical industrial sectors. Since 1988, Thibault & Associates Inc. has completed multi‐faceted projects for companies ranging from investment firms and mineral processing operators to major players in the chemicals, specialty metals and electronics industries.
Mr. Dean Thibault, principal of Thibault & Associates Inc. is a senior process chemical engineer. He has over 35 years of experience in the development of industrial process technologies and the design of industrial production facilities for metallurgical, hydrometallurgical and chemical industries. In addition to the development of industrial process chemistry, he has developed several process technologies for international clients, for the production of high purity metals used for electronics, specialty inorganic chemicals, heavy metal concentrates and treatment of water, wastewater and solid waste.
Mr. Tim McKeen is a lead process chemical engineer with Thibault & Associates Inc. He has over 15 years of experience in process development, assessment of process technologies, economic assessment, conceptual and detailed plant design and plant commissioning services. Mr. McKeen’s experience has allowed him to specialize in the metallurgical industry (for the production of mineral concentrates by crushing, grinding, material and slurry transport, flotation, gravity separation and heavy media separation) and hydrometallurgical industry (for the production of high purity metals and inorganic chemicals by leaching ores/concentrates, solvent extraction, precipitation and electro-winning).
Thibault & Associates Inc. have conducted a detailed technical review of the bench scale and pilot test work completed to date by Argex and have given a favourable review of Argex’s technology’s capacity to scale up.