Ionic has amply proven its ability to recycle magnet rare earth oxides after its demonstration plant in Belfast, UK, produced high quality neodymium oxide and dysprosium oxide.

The milestone production of 4.2kg of 99.7% grade of the light REE neodymium oxide and 0.6kg of 99.8% grade heavy REE dysprosium oxide comes less than nine months after the company received UK Government support.

Importantly for Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR), the success supports further opportunities for commercialisation globally and cements its “first mover” advantage in the recycling of separated magnet REOs.

Being able to recycle waste permanent magnets will help alleviate the projected deficit for MREOs as the market grows from the current US$3bn to US$15bn by the end of the decade.

“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,” managing director Tim Harrison said.

“The commercialisation of our recycling technology and our focus on the delivery of the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earths Project in Uganda positions us to provide a secure, sustainable, and traceable supply of magnet REOs.”

Harrison added that the company will now seek to progress its MREO recycling technology by deploying modular recycling initiatives in markets looking to develop domestic, secure, and sustainable supply chains to address strategic supply and sovereign security.


Magnet recycling forerunner

The technology developed by Ionic’s wholly-owned subsidiary Ionic Technologies International combines a suite of proprietary processes for the separation and recovery of REEs from mining ore concentrates and waste permanent magnets.

As proven by the production of MREOs, the tech has the ability to achieve near complete extraction of REO’s from lower quality spent magnets and waste (swarf) into a high value MREO product.

This is also superior to competing processes such as hydrogen decrepitation, which simply breaks down spent magnets and swarf to be recast as magnets of lesser quality, by offering efficient, non-hazardous, and economically viable processing with minimal environmental impact.

Ionic now expects its Belfast facility to receive a steady supply of magnets to be recycled from sources such as end-of-life turbines from grid scale wind farms and magnets and components from used electric vehicles and MRIs.



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.