REO Magnet Recycling Ramping up to 24/7 for Customer Samples
Perth, Nov 15, 2023 AEST (ABN Newswire) - The Board of Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX:IXR) (IXRRF:OTCMKTS) is pleased to provide an update regarding its rare earth magnet recycling business Ionic Technologies International Ltd ("Ionic Technologies"), a 100% owned subsidiary based in Belfast UK.
Ionic Technologies is a global first mover in the recycling of Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets to enable the creation of sustainable, traceable and sovereign Rare Earth supply chains.
Ionic Technologies has received multiple new enquiries regarding partnering with the Company to utilise its magnet recycling technology to secure sustainable rare earths supply. Ionic is now ramping up its capabilities and moving operations at its Demonstration Plant to 24 hours, 7 days a week production capacity, which will enable greater volumes of rare earths to be produced for samples to potential customers, and which will facilitate converting these discussions into commercial agreements.
Ionic Technologies has already successfully secured funding for two CLIMATES grants from the UK Government's Innovate UK totalling GBP2 million (A$3.90 million) (ASX 12 September 2023) which provides a significant endorsement of the Company and the technology. Ionic Technologies successful grant funding submissions centred on two CLIMATES projects:
1. in partnership with Ford Technologies (Ford) and Less Common Metals (LCM), Ionic Technologies will develop a traceable, circular supply chain of rare earths for application in EV motors within the UK; and
2. in partnership with the British Geological Survey, Ionic Technologies will complete a feasibility study and supply chain analysis for a commercial magnet recycling plant in Belfast.
Ionic Technologies' Demonstration Plant has already produced quantities of high purity (> 99.5%) neodymium (Nd) and dysprosium (Dy) rare earth oxides (REOs), as announced 19 June 2023. After initial process commissioning and production runs through Q3 2023, Ionic Technologies has installed additional processing equipment, and is in the final stages of upgrading the installed control system which is now undergoing processing commissioning and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Ionic Technologies is targeting 24/7 operations from early January 2024, with commercial production runs to support the LCM and Ford collaboration, and processing end of life magnet samples for other potential customers.
These additional supply chain engagement discussions have progressed based upon reverse enquiry post production of high purity REOs in June 2023. The Company is evaluating several significant opportunities across the rare earth supply chain, and progressing supply arrangements with leading businesses in the permanent magnet supply chain.
Since its founding in 2015, as a spinout from Queens University Belfast (QUB), Ionic Technologies has developed processes for the separation and recovery of REEs from mining ore concentrates and waste permanent magnets.
The technology developed is a step up in efficient, non-hazardous, and economically viable processing with minimal environmental footprint.
Ionic Technologies proprietary technology provides a universal method for the recovery of high purity grade rare earth elements from lower quality and variable grade magnets, to be used in the manufacture of modern high-performance and high specification permanent magnets required to support substantial growth in both electric vehicle (EV) and wind turbine deployment.
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About Ionic Rare Earths Limited
Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX:IXR) (OTCMKTS:IXRRF) is focused on developing its flagship Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda into a significant long life, low-cost, supplier of high-value critical and heavy rare earths.
Makuutu is an advanced-stage, ionic adsorption clay-hosted project highlighted by near-surface mineralisation, significant exploration upside, excellent metallurgical characteristics and access to tier-one infrastructure.
The ionic adsorption clay-hosted geology at Makuutu is similar to major rare earths projects in Southern China, which are responsible for the majority of global supply of low cost heavy and critical rare earths, specifically the high value magnet metals (Dysprosium and Terbium) Heavy Rare Earths (>98% originating from ionic clays). Metallurgical testing at Makuutu has returned excellent recovery rates, which provide multiple avenues for a simple process route.
Makuutu is well-supported by tier-one existing infrastructure which includes access to major highways, roads, power, water and a professional workforce.
Rare Earths will play a critical role in the future of clean energy. Rare Earths are a key ingredient in the permanent magnets found in wind turbines and electric vehicles.
IonicRE is led by an experienced and proven team, who have the capabilities to deliver Makuutu into production and realise value for all stakeholders.