Mkango increases investment in rare earth magnet recycler HyProMag

November 3, 2021

Mkango Resources Ltd, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, has increased its interest in UK-based rare earth magnets recycler HyProMag, growing its share from 25% to 41.6%. The move follows HyProMag’s exercise of its right to convert into shares of HyProMag the £200,000 convertible loan which formed part of the £500,000 financing package completed in January 2020.

HyProMag was established by founding directors of the Magnetic Materials Group within the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham, UK. The company is developing the commercialisation of short-loop magnet recycling via a patented Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS) technology.

The HPMS process for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) alloy powders from magnets embedded in scrap and redundant equipment, was originally developed within the Magnetic Materials Group at the University of Birmingham and subsequently licensed to HyProMag.

Rare earth magnets play a key role in clean energy technologies including electric vehicles and wind turbine generators, and are also a key component in electronic devices including mobile phones, hard disk drives and loudspeakers.

The UK has no domestic source of primary rare earths. Thus, the development of domestic sources of recycled rare earths via HPMS is said to be a significant opportunity for the UK to fast-track the development of sustainable and competitive rare earth magnet production. The short-loop recycling processes, which are being scaled up by HyProMag, are expected to have a significant environmental benefit, requiring 88% less energy compared to conventional production of magnets from primary sources and generating an estimated 98% saving in human toxicity.

Mkango has established a new UK subsidiary, Mkango Rare Earths UK Limited, to develop complementary opportunities in rare earth recycling and green technologies in the UK, and the Company is working closely with HyProMag and the University of Birmingham on growth opportunities.

Mkango’s 41.6% interest in HyProMag is held via 100% owned subsidiary, Maginito Limited, which has an option to increase its interest in HyProMag up to 49%. Maginito has the first right to supply primary production, if required for blending with recycled production from HyProMag, as well as product offtake and marketing rights.

William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango, stated, “We are very pleased to increase our interest in HyProMag, which has the technology, team and network of partnerships to unlock the supply chain for rare earth magnet recycling. We look forward to supporting its future growth as it scales up to commercial production and developing new opportunities for collaboration in the recycling sector. Recycling is a key component of Mkango’s ‘mine, refine, recycle’ strategy, and will become an increasingly important part of the rare earth supply chain in the UK, Europe and elsewhere.”

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