Mkango Resources has announced that HyProMag and partners, European Metal Recycling and University of Birmingham have successfully completed the previously announced Rare-Earth Extraction from Audio Products (REAP) project.
Mkango’s subsidiary, Maginito, holds a 25% equity interest in HyProMag, with an option to increase its interest up to 49%.
Maginito has the first right to supply primary production, if required for blending with recycled production from HyProMag, as well as product offtake and marketing rights.
Rare earth magnets play a key role in clean energy technologies including electric vehicles and wind turbine generators, but they are also a key component in electronic devices including mobile phones, hard disk drives and loudspeakers. Loudspeakers account for approximately 20% of the current market for rare earth magnets, according to Adamas Intelligence, and therefore represent a significant opportunity for rare earth magnet recycling.
The UK has no domestic source of primary rare earths. The development of domestic sources of recycled rare earths via HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap), a homegrown technology, is a significant opportunity for the UK to fast-track the development of sustainable and competitive rare earth magnet production. The short loop recycling processes which are being scaled up by HyProMag will have a significant environmental benefit, requiring 88 per cent less energy compared to conventional production of magnets from primary sources.
William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango stated:
“This is a significant milestone for HyProMag, University of Birmingham and European Metal Recycling, demonstrating another potential source of both feedstock and route to market for recycled rare earth magnets.
“Recycling is a key component of Mkango’s “mine, refine, recycle” strategy via its strategic interest in HyProMag, and will become an increasingly important part of the rare earth supply chain in the UK, Europe and elsewhere.
“HyProMag is well positioned to unlock that supply chain with access to the technology, expertise and network of partnerships to make it happen, and Mkango looks forward to supporting HyProMag as it scales up to commercial production.”
Nick Mann, Operations General Manager of HyProMag stated:
“HyProMag is very pleased to have successfully completed this groundbreaking project, which has identified a useful and accessible source of end of life magnets that can be collected, extracted and remanufactured on a commercially viable basis.
“As demand and therefore price of NdFeB magnets continues to rise, the need to capture waste material for recycling becomes imperative for economic as well as environmental reasons. REAP further advances the novel techniques required to recycle rare earth magnets from audio products, which account for around 20% of the NdFeB market each year. HyProMag looks forward to developing these techniques alongside EMR with a view to further scale up and commercialisation.”