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25/04/2024
Mining News

Ionic Rare Earths achieves milestone in continuous production at UK recycling plant

Ionic Rare Earths, a company listed on the ASX, has reached a significant milestone with the commencement of continuous production at its magnet recycling demonstration plant located in Belfast, UK.

The facility has successfully produced 11.5 kg of didymium oxide (comprising neodymium and praseodymium oxide) with a remarkable grade of 99.8%.

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Efforts are underway to scale up production to meet the plant’s nameplate capacity of 10 tons per year of rare earth oxide.

Ionic emphasizes that this continuous production not only showcases the capability of the technology but also strengthens the case for establishing a commercial plant in Belfast. A feasibility study for this initiative is currently in progress.

Furthermore, the successes achieved at the demonstration plant bolster Ionic’s operational plan, which extends through mid-2025.

The company now holds a pioneering position in the recycling of separated magnet rare earth oxides, positioning itself to explore opportunities for expanding its presence in the UK and European markets.

Ionic specializes in the production of a range of magnet rare earth oxides, including neodymium oxide, didymium oxide, dysprosium oxide, and terbium oxide. Notably, Ionic is the first to achieve such high-quality product output in the UK.

Tim Harrison, Managing Director of Ionic, highlights the critical role of the Belfast facility in leveraging their technology for the accelerated mining, refining, and recycling of magnets and heavy rare earths. He underscores the keen interest expressed by supply chain partners in procuring rare earth oxides from secondary sources.

Ionic’s material sources include end-of-life wind turbines, components from used electric vehicles, and metal alloy and magnet waste.

Supportive global policies such as the European Union Critical Raw Materials Act and the US Inflation Reduction Act are aligning with Ionic’s market strategy. This strategy focuses on deploying modular recycling initiatives in western markets and establishing a domestic rare earth recycling supply chain in the UK.

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