Ionic has completed its acquisition of rare earths separation and magnet recycling tech firm Seren Technologies after securing approval from the UK Government Investment Security Unit.

The approval under the National Security and Investment (NSI) Act 2021 means that all conditions relating to the acquisition have now been completed.

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) will now integrate SerenTech and its rare earth element (REE) separation and refining tech into its operations with initial operations over the next 12 months beginning with the consolidation of operations in Belfast.

The company will also progress test work, flowsheet development evaluation, and modelling for its standalone rare earth elements separation and refinery before installing a full magnet recycling pilot plant to validate identified process improvements.

This will be followed by planning for a standalone facility in Belfast that will house hydrometallurgical laboratories and a purpose-built magnet recycling demonstration plant to process 30 tonnes per annum of spent magnets and swarf – fine chips or filings – to produce 10 tonnes per annum of refined and separated magnet rare earths oxides.

Commercial relationships on sourcing and recycling spent magnets and swarf will also be progressed.

Ionic had previously noted that the pilot plant is planned to commence in the current quarter while the demonstration plant could be developed later this year.


Serentech has developed processes for the separation and recovery of REEs from mining ore concentrates and spent permanent magnets since its founding in 2015.

This process has the potential to provide a step change in efficient, non-hazardous, and economically viable processing with minimal environmental footprint compared to existing technologies.

Its toolkit of separation techniques and solvent systems can also be combined and applied to different mixed rare earth feeds.

Work to date has demonstrated the ability to achieve near complete extraction from lower quality spent magnets and waste to a high value REO product with more than 99.9% purity.




This article was developed in collaboration with Ionic Rare Earths, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.