Ionic Rare Earths Limited Stock Market Press Releases and Company Profile

IONIC TECHNOLOGIES COMMENCES FULL SCALE MAGNET RARE EARTH OXIDE PRODUCTION AT BELFAST DEMONSTRATION FACILTY

Ionic Technologies Starts Continuous Magnet REO Production
Ionic Technologies Starts Continuous Magnet REO Production

Melbourne, Mar 25, 2024 AEST (ABN Newswire) - The Board of Ionic Rare Earths Limited (googlechartASX:IXR) (googlechartIXRRF:OTCMKTS) is very pleased to advise that continuous production of high purity, recycled magnet rare earth oxides (REOs) has commenced at scale on the Demonstration Plant at Ionic Technologies International Ltd's ("Ionic Technologies") Belfast facility in the UK.

- Magnet recycling Demonstration Plant achieves continuous production of magnet Rare Earth Oxides (REOs) at Ionic Technologies' technical facility in Belfast, UK;

- 11.5 kg of 99.8% grade of Didymium (Neodymium-Praseodymium, NdPr) Oxide produced;

- Throughput ramping up to name plate capacity, approximately 10 tonnes REO per annum;

- Dysprosium/Holmium (Dy/Ho) strip liquor produced ready to undergo separation to produce high purity Dy2O3 and Ho2O3 products;

- Continuous production demonstrates capability, as part of a UK Government supported demonstrator program in collaboration with Ford Motor Company and Less Common Metals (LCM), and supports completion of the Feasibility Study for a commercial plant in Belfast;

- Success supports further opportunities for commercialisation globally with several discussions underway indicating a full operational plan for the Demonstration plant through to mid 2025; and

- Ionic Technologies has "first mover" advantage in the recycling of separated magnet Rare Earth Oxides and is exploring opportunities to advance UK and EU market presence.

Ionic Technologies is a global first mover in the recycling of Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets to high purity separated magnet rare earth oxides (REOs) - enabling the creation of sustainable, traceable, and sovereign rare earth supply chains.

Ionic Technologies is now a producer of a suite of magnet REOs including neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) didymium oxide (NdPr oxide), dysprosium oxide (Dy2O3) and terbium oxide (Tb4O7) and is the first to produce such high-quality REO products in the UK.

Ionic Rare Earths' Managing Director, Mr Tim Harrison, commented on another major milestone achieved by the company towards the development of a Western supply chain to support the energy transition: "Our Belfast facility is key to us harnessing our technology to accelerate our mining, refining and recycling of magnets and heavy rare earths which are critical for the energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence,"

"The commercialisation of our recycling technology is moving rapidly, and the Board of IonicRE is pleased to announce that Demonstration scale production of NdPr oxides have commenced. It is an important milestone, which exhibits our readiness to supply recycled magnet REOs into the market.

"Our supply chain partners have expressed significant interest in procuring REOs from secondary sources, and with this milestone, we are confident in delivering a full schedule of magnet recycling campaigns through to mid-2025."

The Belfast facility is expected to receive a steady supply in magnets to be recycled from sources such as swarf from existing manufactures of metals alloys and magnets, plus end-of-life turbines from grid scale wind farms, and magnets and components from used electric vehicles (EVs) and other industries.

Mr Harrison commented further that "demand for material of recycled origin is accelerating to align with global policy priorities and off-taker objectives in order to enter these markets. This is being driven by global policy such as the European Union Critical Raw Materials Act and the US Inflation Reduction Act."

"IonicRE aims to progress the technology with the deployment of modular recycling initiatives in western markets looking to develop domestic, secure, and sustainable supply chains to address strategic supply and sovereign security, placing IonicRE at the epicentre of rare earth element recycling".

Continuous Production Achieved

Ionic Technologies commenced operations processing an end of life (EOL) permanent magnet from a decommissioned wind turbine generator. The permanent magnet composition included 26.7% neodymium (Nd), 5.4% praseodymium (Pr), 1.0% dysprosium (Dy) and 1.4% holmium (Ho).

Following the completion of process commissioning, Ionic Technologies has successfully separated NdPr from heavy rare earth elements (REE) DyHo (see Figure 3*) which will undergo further separation to produce high purity Dy2O3 and Ho2O3 product.

The first production from continuous Demonstration Plant activity has produced approximately 11.5 kg of NdPr oxide grading greater than 99.8% NdPr oxide (total REO content of 99.99%). The production of NdPr oxide at Demonstration Scale follows previous successful production of maiden Nd2O3 grading 99.7% and Dy2O3 grading 99.8% (ASX 12 June 2023), and Tb4O7 grading > 99.5% (ASX 19 March 2024).

Initial production of NdPr oxide, and subsequent Dy2O3 and Tb4O7 to be produced, supports our collaboration with partners Less Common Metals (LCM) and Ford Technologies. Ionic Technologies will supply REOs to LCM, who will produce alloys for magnet production to be developed in Europe, with the sintered magnets to be supplied to Ford Technologies in Halewood, UK, to produce electric motors for evaluation, demonstrating a UK magnet rare earth supply chain as part of a UK Government sponsored CLIMATES initiative (ASX 12 September 2023).

Following the successful commissioning and first continuous production from the Demonstration Plant, Ionic Technologies is now entering late-stage negotiations in relation to strategically significant production campaigns, with a view to progressing towards commercial agreements to roll the technology out to western end users.

The continuous Demonstration Plant will also support the completion of a Feasibility Study into a commercial scale facility, expected by mid-2024 (ASX 6 December 2023).

Based upon magnet recycling progress, and given the footprint being established in the UK and Europe, the Company has also initiated investigating opportunities to advance UK and EU investment market presence, where sentiment and support from the UK government has been very strong.

About the production of REOs at Ionic Technology

Ionic Technologies is a 100% owned subsidiary of IonicRE, based in Belfast UK, which the Company acquired in H1 2022. Ionic Technologies has developed rare earth element separation and refining technology and applied this to the recycling of spent permanent Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) magnets.

The process uses a hydrometallurgical process to extract the rare earth elements (REE), then separate the individual magnet REEs within - Nd, Pr, Dy and Tb - and finally refine to high purity individual magnet rare earths oxides (REO).

In September 2022, IonicTech was awarded a grant of GBP1.72 million (approximately A$2.9 million) from the UK Government's Innovate UK Automotive Transformation Fund Scale-up Readiness Validation (SuRV) program. This is a significant step towards securing the UK supply of critical rare earth metals for EV manufacture.

In September 2023, Ionic Technologies announced it had successfully secured additional funding for two Innovate UK CLIMATES grants totalling GBP2 million (A$3.90 million). The successful grant funding submissions centred on two CLIMATES projects:

1. in partnership with Less Common Metals (LCM) and Ford Technologies, 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 has commenced a feasibility study for a commercial magnet recycling plant in Belfast, UK.

The magnet recycling Demonstration Plant will provide the data for the development of commercial facilities.

The Ionic Technologies magnet recycling process is agnostic on magnet quality, can process oxidised magnets, and can also manage coatings and films, to produce individually separated and refined high purity REOs.

*To view tables and figures, please visit:
https://abnnewswire.net/lnk/O7Y08VA7


About Ionic Rare Earths Limited

Ionic Rare Earths ASX:IXRIonic 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.

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Contact

Tim Harrison
Ionic Rare Earths Limited
E: investors@ionicre.com
T: +61 (3) 9776 3434

For Investor Relations
Peter Taylor
NWR Communications
E: peter@nwrcommunications.com.au
T: +61 (0) 412 036 231



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