Voyageur Develops Process to Upgrade Barite to USP

Voyageur Pharmaceuticals Ltd of Calgary, AB has announced that the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for its Frances Creek barium sulfate project in British Columbia is nearing completion. A critical part of the PEA is the design of an upgrading system to process the Frances Creek barium concentrate to meet the requirements for USP grade. The upgrading process has been the primary focus, such that the PEA could not proceed until the process had been developed and verified.

The company says that the process, developed in association with SGS Canada Inc, should enable it to produce and sell a premium natural BaSO4 product to both the pharmaceutical market and the industrial market for high purity barium. Based on the results of product testing, Voyageur says it was able to increase product purity from ranges of 86.9% to 90.7% to ranges of 97.8% to 99.8%. The company’s average 10 micron product is 98.8% BaSO4 and 99.5% for its one micron product.

Brent Willis, Voyageur’s CEO, said, “We believe these results are equivalent to man-made synthetic barium sulfate. This is significant as our products are created from natural barite at significantly less cost compared to traditional synthetic processes. Creating a process to manufacture the highest quality product possible, has been the primary goal for Voyageur over the past few months.”

The PEA is expected to be completed in the next couple of months.

Volume 35, Issue 17

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