MONTREAL – Argex Mining Inc. (Argex) has entered into a technical collaboration agreement with PPG Industries to develop and optimize PPG’s technology for titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment for coatings applications to be produced by Argex. The collaboration is intended to make Argex’s TiO2 pigment compatible with various end-use applications for PPG.
The agreement provides for the negotiation of a purchase and supply agreement between Argex and PPG based on the successful development of the treatment technologies. Both companies have agreed to certain terms of mutual exclusivity during the negotiation period.
“PPG and Argex plan to combine efforts with the goal of developing a titanium dioxide product that can meet conventional standards for interior and exterior paint applications,” said Charles F. Kahle II, PPG Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Research and Development, Coatings. “This strategic initiative offers PPG the opportunity to leverage our expertise and secure an enhanced supply of this critical raw material. Volatile pricing for titanium dioxide continues to be an important issue for the company.”
Roy Bonnell, Argex President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “PPG’s decision to collaborate closely with Argex as both a technical and commercial partner is a further validation of our process and the suitability of the Argex TiO2pigment for commercial use. PPG’s involvement will assist Argex greatly in our stated goal to advance rapidly to production.”
PPG previously manufactured TiO2using the chloride process at its Natrium, WV, chemicals plant and sold titanium dioxide pigment for coatings and other end-use applications.
Argex Mining Inc. is a near-term producer of commodities such as TiO2, iron and vanadium pentoxide. With a primary goal of advancing rapidly towards production, Argex has adopted a simple and low-risk strategy for the scale-up of its proprietary process that allows it to produce high-purity TiO2directly from run-of-mine material from its 100-percent-owned deposit. The process is running continuously at a mini-plant in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The closed-loop process is environmentally friendly and produces minimal inert tailings.