Aim- and TSX-V-listed rare earths project developer Mkango Resources reports that HyProMag has established an 80%-owned German subsidiary – magnetic materials company HyProMag GmbH, which is 20% held by Professor Carlo Burkhardt of Pforzheim University in Germany, who has also been appointed to the board of directors of HyProMag GmbH.
Mkango’s wholly-owned subsidiary Maginito, holds a 42% equity interest in HyProMag, with an option to increase its interest 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.
As an affiliated company, HyProMag GmbH is covered by the exclusive licence of HyProMag and the companies will share new developments.
Mkango CE William Dawes says the establishment of HyProMag GmbH complements Mkango’s strategy to develop a rare earths processing hub in neighbouring Poland, working with Grupa Azoty Pulawy.
“Mkango looks forward to supporting HyProMag's development in the UK, the European Union (EU) and international markets, as it scales up to commercial production,” he says.
Germany, which has no domestic sources of primary rare earths, is a major producer and market for rare earth magnets in Europe, and the establishment of HyProMag GmbH provides a strong platform to grow the business in the region.
Development of domestic sources of recycled rare earths through the patented hydrogen processing of magnet scrap (HPMS) is a significant opportunity to diversify and strengthen development of a more resilient rare earths supply chain in Europe.
HyProMag is coordinator of the €14-million European Union-funded SusMagPro project, focused on rare earth magnet recycling with 19 partners across the European supply chain.
The HPMS process for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron 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 licenced to HyProMag.
Rare earth magnets play a key role in clean energy technologies, including electric vehicles and wind turbine generators, as well as being a key component in electronic devices, including mobile phones, hard disk drives and loudspeakers.
Burkhardt says it is exciting to see the huge strides collectively being made in developing technologies to identify, separate and reprocess magnets from waste streams, which are now nearing commercial application and which will, hopefully, play their part in making European supply chains more resilient to external influences.
HyProMag director David Kennedy says HyProMag, as the exclusive licensee, “is pleased to establish a new company in the EU for the purpose of rolling out the short loop recycling of rare earth permanent magnet materials, which are expected to have a low environmental impact”.