Mkango Peak resources
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Multi-listed Mkango Resources has announced that Maginito has signed an investment term sheet and one year exclusivity agreement with HyProMag, a private company focused on rare earth magnet recycling.

William Dawes, CEO of Mkango states:

“We are very pleased to be working with the leading team and University in the field of magnetic materials.

"We believe that rare earth magnet recycling and primary production will play complementary roles in the development of a sustainable electric vehicle supply chain and we see clear synergies with the development of Mkango’s advanced stage Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi.”

Feasibility study kicks off for Mkango’s rare earths project

Maginito is 75.5% owned by Mkango, which is completing a Feasibility Study for the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi, and 24.5% owned by Talaxis, the technology metals investment and development company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Noble Group Holdings.

Consistent with Maginito’s strategy, the rationale for the Transaction includes potential synergies, such as blending of primary production originating from Songwe with recycled production from HyProMag, as well as enhanced marketing flexibility and access to downstream markets for rare earth permanent magnets, which are critical materials for electric vehicles, wind turbines, consumer electronics and other technology applications:

  • HyProMag has licenced a patented process for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron (“NdFeB”) alloy powders from magnets embedded in scrap and redundant equipment named HPMS. This was originally developed within the Magnetic Materials Group (“MMG”) at the University of Birmingham (“UoB”).
  • Subject to completion of definitive agreements and due diligence, Maginito will invest £300,000 for an initial 25% interest in HyProMag and provide a £200,000 convertible loan facility, both of which will be fully funded from Maginito’s existing cash resources. Maginito will have an option to increase its interest in HyProMag to up to 49%, and the first right to supply any primary rare earth raw materials for blending with recycled materials, if required, and to market the magnetic end products.
  • The founding directors of HyProMag, comprising Professor Emeritus Rex Harris, former Head of the MMG, Professor Allan Walton, current Head of the MMG, and two Honorary Fellows, Dr John Speight and Mr David Kennedy, are leading world experts in the field of rare earth magnetic materials, alloys and hydrogen technology, and have significant industry experience.
  • Maginito’s initial investment of £300,000 will fully satisfy HyProMag’s matched funding requirements for the three year, £2.6 million Innovate UK grant funded project, “Rare-Earth Recycling for E-Machines” (“RaRE”), which aims to establish a pilot rare earth magnet recycling facility at Tyseley Energy Park, Birmingham (“Tyseley”), and includes Advanced Electrical Machines Research Limited and UoB as collaborators.

William Dawes, CEO of Mkango states:

“We are very pleased to be working with the leading team and University in the field of magnetic materials.

"We believe that rare earth magnet recycling and primary production will play complementary roles in the development of a sustainable electric vehicle supply chain and we see clear synergies with the development of Mkango’s advanced stage Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi.”

Prof. Allan Walton, Director of HyProMag stated:

“In recent years the rare earth materials which are used in permanent magnets have come under considerable supply constraints. At the same time there is very little recycling of these materials partly due to the technological challenges for efficiently separating magnets from end of life products.

"This investment in HyProMag will exploit HPMS in order to provide a secure supply of rare earth alloys with a very low environmental footprint. The strategic alliance with Mkango has future potential for supplementing and enhancing products with additional independent supply chains.”

Daniel Mamadou, Executive Director of Talaxis stated:

“We are excited to be partnering with HyProMag and Mkango on this ground-breaking project that has the potential to revolutionise rare earths magnet recycling for the electric vehicle market.

"The investment is an excellent strategic fit with Talaxis’ technology metals portfolio, strengthening our position in the rare earths supply chain and underlining our commitment to decarbonisation and sustainability.”

The Magnetic Materials Group within the School of Metallurgy at the University of Birmingham has been active in the field of rare earth alloys and processing of permanent magnets using hydrogen for over forty years.

Originated by Professor Rex Harris, the hydrogen decrepitation method, which is used to reduce NdFeB alloys to a powder, is now ubiquitously employed in worldwide magnet processing.

In a further development, the MMG patented a process for extracting and demagnetising NdFeB powders from magnets embedded in redundant equipment using hydrogen in a process called HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap).

This patent and related Intellectual Property is at the core of HyProMag. The MMG continues to develop new research and development opportunities, cooperates widely in Europe and is currently involved in two significant EU projects (SusMagPro and Neohire).

The directors of HyProMag all provide their expertise to the MMG and there is potential for HyProMag to gain possible future access to new IP.
HyProMag’s strategy is to establish a recycling facility for NdFeB magnets at Tyseley in Birmingham to provide a sustainable solution for the supply of NdFeB magnets and alloy powders for a wide range of markets including, for example, automotive and electronics.

A number of product options are being evaluated including hydrogen decrepitated (HD) demagnetised powders suitable for magnet producers, alloy ingot remelted from HD powders suitable for alloy feed or magnet production, anisotropic alloy powders (HDDR) for bonded magnets and sintered NdFeB magnets as required by the RaRE project for automotive applications.

The facilities will initially be based under the umbrella of MMG process development with phased transfer into Tyseley over two years and first sales from Tyseley projected in year three.