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Ionic produces first REO from Belfast plant

19th June 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Junior Ionic Rare earths has started rare earth oxide (REO) production at its magnet recycling demonstration plant, in Belfast in the UK.

“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,” said Ionic MD Tim Harrison.

“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.”

Ionic’s technology arm Ionic Technologies (IonicTech) has developed rare earth element (REE) separation and refining technology and applied this to the recycling of spent permanent neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets.

The process uses a hydrometallurgical process to extract the REEs, then separate the individual magnet REEs within, including neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium, and to refine to high purity individual magnet REO.

The facility is expected to receive a steady supply in 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 magnetic resonance imaging.

The products already produced at the facility will now be used to progress engagement with potential supply chain collaboration partnerships to explore commercial opportunities.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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