• Ionic Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ionic Rare Earths, selects WSP Global as the service partner to deliver the feasibility study
  • WSP is a Canadian-based leading global provider of consultancy, engineering and project delivery services to the chemicals sector
  • IXR’s magnet recycling facility has the potential to be a significant contributor to the benchmark target set out within the EU Critical Raw Materials Act 2023


Special Report: The start of Ionic’s feasibility study for its magnet rare earths recycling facility in Belfast, UK is edging closer with the appointment of service partner WSP Global.

Hot on the heels of the successful award of grants from the UK Governments’ critical materials supply chains (CLIMATES) program, Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) – through its wholly owned subsidiary Ionic Technologies, based in the UK – has selected WSP Global as the engineer and project manager to lead feasibility works.

IXR believes the magnet recycling facility holds the potential to be a significant contributor to the benchmark target set out within the EU Critical Raw Materials Act 2023 of 25% magnet rare earths annual consumption from recycling by 2030.


UK government tips ~$1.9m into feasibility study

The company’s proposed magnet recycling facility has the backing of the UK Government through a ~$1.9m (£1 million) grant as part of CLIMATES, to evaluate the construction and supply side dynamics of a magnet rare earth recycling plant in collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS).

IXR says the feasibility study forms the most significant single output of the CLIMATES project that Ionic Technologies will complete, and provides an assessment of the feasibility and supply side dynamics of a magnet recycling facility within the UK.

The plant will be located in Belfast, UK, where it has access to excellent infrastructure and positive policy support through the Windsor Framework, providing dual market access across the UK and EU.


Expected cost solution by 2024

According to IXR Managing Director Tim Harrison, confirmation of WSP as the company’s service provider represents a significant step towards the construction of a commercial-scale magnet recycling facility.

“This move also helps to establish a supply chain of secondary rare earth oxides (REOs) for the UK,” he says.

“The decision to select WSP as the service partner on this landmark study was made because of WSP’s prominence, experience, and reputation in the chemical industry, as well as their demonstrable capability to deliver a study that is closely aligned to our overall project objectives.

“We will be working in partnership with WSP on the feasibility study, using our patented processes and knowledge gained through operation of our demonstration plant and we expect to have a costed solution by mid-2024”.


Supply side dynamics of a magnet rare earth recycling plant

Ionic Technologies and BGS have created a collaborative working group to develop strategies for the establishment of a secure supply of rare earth elements (REEs) for the UK, as well as satisfying Ionic Technologies’ technical requirements to enable the next phase of rapid growth to commercial scale in the UK.

IXR says the project will also expand on the existing BGS material stocks and flows model for REEs by incorporating new, pertinent data on wind turbines, electric vehicles (EVs) and other automotive sources, all containing significant REE content, which could be recycled within the UK.

With this data, Ionic Technologies will be able to specify a commercial facility, capable of receiving both end-of-life and waste (swarf) magnet material of varying quality, processing this material through a plant designed using our patented technology, to produce REOs with purity of 99.5%+ quality.



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.