Ionic eyes US downstream rare earths refinery options
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Ionic Rare Earths says it is fully committed to advancing and building its downstream capacity in the United States, engaging with US State representatives to best locate and establish a rare earth separation and refining plant (refinery), close to suppliers of reagents, and potential end user customers.
Discussions include evaluating the nominated location which is located close to a technical partner who would enhance the potential supply chain for value addition of separated and refined rare earth oxides (REO) needed for zero-carbon technologies and end products.
In addition, Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) continues to further engage with the US Government departments, US automotive industry and other OEMs.
The goal is to enhance its US based representation by establishing relationships with potential strategic partners that are able to demonstrate access to funding, both public and private, for the development of the refinery.
The mining license application for the Company’s Makuutu rare earth project is pending, with award expected by the end of Q1 2023.
Discussions are already ongoing with several groups who have indicated a desire for greater critical mineral supply security and specifically access to the Project’s basket of heavy rare earth elements.
And these discussions will be further supported through the completion of the Refinery Scoping Study which is expected to be finalised at the end of Q1 2023 – pending key agreements being reached on proposed location.
The company is progressing at its recently established magnet recycling subsidiary, Ionic Technologies facility in Belfast, UK, with commissioning of the demonstration plant expected in late Q1 2023, and first recycled rare earth oxide (REO) products produced by the end of Q2 2023.
In addition, Ionic is progressing several discussions to expand its activities in the U.S. to include the establishment of a magnet recycling facility with a strategic partner.
“Magnet recycling presents an opportunity to enter the US market early and commence commercial supply engagement with customers of magnet rare earth products, plus enables the company to participate in initial programs aimed at building US domestic rare earth capability,” Ionic said.
“Given geopolitical tensions and US government initiatives to support the domestic production of permanent magnets to provide a foundation for US manufacturing across several industries, initiatives such as the US Inflations Reduction Act and critical materials supply agenda enables the company, with strategic partners, to be a potential early mover in the rare earths supply chain, supported by a long life, magnet and heavy rare earths asset like Makuutu.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Ionic Rare Earths Limited, 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.