HyProMag deal sees rare earth magnet recycling in the UK and Germany

HyProMag deal sees rare earth magnet recycling in the UK and Germany

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Maginito has completed its £1m deal to acquire rare earth magnet recycler Hypromag and will have plants for recycling rare earth magnets in the UK, Germany and the US.

The company is targeting first production of the rare earth magnet recycling plant from the UK in 2023 and Germany in 2024, with parallel technology roll-out into the US. The rare earth magnets are used in EV motors, wind turbines and hard disk drives motors and are difficult to recycle.

Maginito is a joint venture between Canadian mining firm Mkango with 90% and CoTec with 10%. The company is focused on developing green technology opportunities in the rare earths supply chain, encompassing neodymium (NdFeB) magnet recycling as well as innovative rare earth alloy, magnet, and separation technologies.

The deal means Maginito owns all of HyProMag for short loop rare earth magnet recycling in the UK, a 90% direct and indirect interest in HyProMag GmbH, a company focused on short loop rare earth magnet recycling in Germany, and a 100% interest in Mkango Rare Earths UK Ltd.

HyProMag is establishing short loop recycling facilities for NdFeB magnets at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham, UK and other locations using a patented process using hydrogen processing of magnetic scrap (HPMS). The aim is to provide a sustainable solution for the supply of NdFeB magnets and alloys for a wide range of markets including, for example, automotive and electronics, with full scale production starting later this year.

Short loop magnet recycling is expected to have a significant environmental benefit, requiring an estimated 88% less energy versus primary mining to separation to metal alloy to magnet production.

The £4.3m plant at Tyseley Energy Park is being developed together with the University of Birmingham will have a minimum capacity of 100tpa NdFeB (neodymium, iron, boron). The focus of the project is to take the HPMS technology to a greater scale and efficiency with new designs for processing equipment and extensive automation of processing methods for inert atmosphere powder handling and pressing.

A new US subsidiary, to be jointly owned by Maginito and CoTec, is expected to be formed to develop rare earth recycling opportunities in the United States. In March 2023, CoTec invested £1.5 million into Maginito, and Maginito and CoTec agreed to collaborate on the commercialisation of downstream rare earth technologies in the US.

HyProMag was founded in 2018 by the late Professor Emeritus Rex Harris, former Head of The Magnetic Materials Group at Birmingham with Professor Allan Walton, current Head of the MMG, and two Honorary Fellows, Dr John Speight and Mr David Kennedy. The HPMS process for extracting and demagnetising NdFeB alloy powders from magnets embedded in scrap and redundant equipment was originally developed within the MMG and subsequently licenced to HyProMag.

Under the terms of the Transaction, the founding Directors and management of HyProMag will continue to provide support and work closely with Maginito to further scale-up and roll-out the HPMS technology. A further £3m may also be payable in four tranches, either in cash or in Mkango common shares upon the achievement by HyProMag of certain production milestones up to June 2026.

HyProMag GmbH is developing a similar sized plant to that at Tyseley Energy Park and will be the first in Germany using the patented HPMS process through a plant in Baden-Württemberg State. First production is targeted for 2024.;


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