There are companies in North America selling barium sulfate with grades as high as 99% BaSO4. How does this effect your pharmaceutical market product line?

True, but they are NOT selling barite that makes USP pharmaceutical grade. Currently there are no sales of USP barite in North America. There are a few aspects to look at:

  1. Does their barite meet USP testing requirements? Are they using USP testing methods on their barite or are they are running standard testing which does not paint an accurate picture of their grade down to the level of measurement that is required for human consumption?

Most companies are using testing methods that are standard for oilfield and chemical/paint grade barite. By not using USP testing they can not state that barite is pharmaceutical grade. The threshold for metals in USP barium sulfate is extremely low, 10ppm total metals. Most labs can not detect accurately below 10ppm and the barite must be tested using USP testing protocols from a Health Canada or FDA approved lab.

  1. Do they have a Health Canada or FDA approved barite processing plant to produce pharmaceutical grade barite powder? You can not sell pharmaceutical grade barite without an approved GMP plant that undergoes Health Canada and FDA inspections. Voyageur  plans on building the only GMP rated barite processing facility in North America after the Company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) is completed.

How do you compete with other barite providers who have precipitated barite that is 99% BaSO4?

  • We are not competing with other barite companies, we are not selling pharmaceutical barite powder, we are selling barium contrast suspension products. There is a big difference. By selling contrast, we are selling our barite at the highest $/tonne price points in the natural barium sulfate market. The following is hypothetical base case on three standard formulas currently being sold into the USA market.

The following is based on highly discounted prices:

  1. Low Density 9 grams in bottle, CAD$3.17/9grams (CAD$352,222/tonne Barite)
  2. Medium Density 150g in bottle, CAD$4.89/150g (CAD$32,600/tonne Barite)
  3. High Density 320g in bottle, CAD$6.36/320g (CAD$19,875/tonne Barite)

Based on 50% JV revenue model, we would be selling our barite at a discount for the following prices:

  • LD Barite sales             CAD$176,111 per tonne.
  • MD Barite sales            CAD$16,300   per tonne.
  • HD Barite sales            CAD$9,939      per tonne.
(these numbers are hypothetical; upon completion of the PEA the economics will reflect actual sales and costs)

When will the company begin cash flowing?

VOYAGEUR    cash flow strategy is to begin cash flowing upon receipt of Health Canada (HC) approval on our product lines. We have secured USP barium sulfate from a third-party supplier. 2,000,000 grams has been landed at the Chief manufacturing plant. ImagingX will be able to commence production immediately after HC approvals are completed. Immediately upon HC approvals, Chief will conduct a 2 to 3 month testing before the product(s) go into sales. We will be using third party barite until the FC 10,000 tonne bulk sample is processed and delivered to the Chief manufacturing plant. The timeline for HC approvals is approximately 6 months from submission.

Why are other barite companies not selling contrast?

  1. The barite must be processed in a barite mill that falls under the GMP guidelines for USP barium sulfate production. VOYAGEUR   will be building this plant and once it is built, Voyageur believes that it will be the only Ba plant in North America that falls under the GMP guidelines.
  1. Barite companies in the USA do not want a separate plant or to convert a plant for USP barite – the market is too small. They in turn, run 100% of all grades through their high volume (minimum 100,000’s of tonnes per year) milling systems.

The cost to clean out a system is too high if they wanted to mill USP grade barite. They would also have to build an acid wash plant for final finishing of the barite to meet USP biological protocols and lower their metal content below 10ppm.

  1. To manufacture Contrast requires an estimated USD$40-$60,000,000 investment into a pharmaceutical contrast manufacturing plant.

Voyageur has acquired our own plant via our joint venture with Chief. This was a significant deal from a CapX standpoint for Voyageur.

  1. Any company wanting to enter the contrast market requires consistent guaranteed pharmaceutical grade barite from foreign suppliers. 100% of North American companies selling high purity barite are importing from foreign sources. The risk of relying on the foreign supplier to provide safe human consumable barite is far too great to justify an investment for long term production. One bad shipment and the FDA or Health Canada will shut down the operation at a high cost to the producer. The only way to control the risk is to have your own source of barite. This is why … the Frances Creek deposit is considered to be a very very valuable asset for the Company and for any company in the barium contrast market.
  1. Supply for USP barite is extremely tight and only one company in China has FDA and Health Canada approval and has a certified GMP plant. That company is currently supplying Voyageur  to start our project. There are many foreign companies claiming to be able to sell USP grade barite but based on our vetting process non have passed our due diligence process to date.



Why is iodine an important part of Voyageur business plan?

We are applying the same strategic business plan to our iodine brine in Utah, that we are implementing with our barite. In Utah we have a prospective play that may contain high levels of iodine, bromine and lithium. All data within the area of interest around our claims suggest that the brines are mineral rich. By producing our own iodine and manufacturing our own iodine radio contrast products, will allow ImagingX to become a highly competitive company. By selling both iodine and barium contrast will allow for more rapid growth in a $7,000,000,000 pharmaceutical market. Iodinated Contrast is one of the highest consumed healthcare products in the marketplace.

What is your strategy to grow your company?

We are building a barium and iodine contrast business that will compete with the major pharmaceutical companies operating in this market. Our model is using our rare deposits to become a low cost producer of barium contrast. By using FC barite and Utah iodine, ImagingX will have the  lowest cost of ingredients in the contrast business:  FROM THE EARTH TO THE BOTTLE, is our strategic goal.

How big is the  barium and iodine contrast market?

The combined market for the radiocontrast market is estimated to be  US$7 billion and growing at 4.7% CAGR.  (source: Genus Medical Technologies) .

How big is the market for barium contrast?

Voyageur has received requests for supply of 1 micron and 10-micron FC barite from a large barium contrast producer. We understand their market share worldwide. From this information we estimate the world market is in excess of 200,000,000 bottles per year.

Why is there a shortage of USP barite?

  • Pharmaceutical barite demand increases as the world population ages. Currently there is only one company we are aware of in China producing FDA/Health Canada approved pharmaceutical grade barite. This company only allocates 5% of its production to the international markets, 95% is allocated to the Chinese market.
  • There is allot of barite resources around the world. The issue is, from a geological perspective, barite is associated with heavy metals. Most barite deposits do not make grade for the pharmaceutical industry.

What is your competition?

  • The barium contrast market is currently dominated by one company, Bracco Pharmaceuticals. Voyageur estimates they control 50% of the world market and 95% of the  North American market. In the USA there is one smaller barium contrast company named Genus Medical Technologies. In Europe the largest company is Guerbert pharmaceuticals and Sanochemia.   

Why is barite & iodine important to the pharmaceutical sector?

  • Because it blocks radiation, it is used in X-rays (looks opaque on X-ray film), CT and other diagnostic tests. Barium is used in medicine to diagnose gastrointestinal problems. Iodine is an injected intravenously.

In a few sentences, what sets you apart from your competitors?

  • Voyageur & ImagingX are building a pharmaceutical brand based on low costs and being the only contrast pharmaceutical company in the world that owns and controls its main ingredient feed stock. By implementing this plan our company will be on trajectory to be one of the most highly competitive companies in this market with high margin and growth rates.