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Ionic Rare Earths

Ionic Technologies Partners With Ford, LCM And BGS To Anchor UK Rare Earth Supply Chain From Magnet Recycling

The Board of Ionic Rare Earths Limited (“IonicRE” or “The Company”) (ASX: IXR) is pleased to advise further government support and supply chain progress through Ionic Technologies International Ltd (“Ionic Technologies”), a 100% owned subsidiary based in Belfast UK.

  • IonicRE’s magnet recycling business Ionic Technologies, has executed landmark partnership agreements with Ford Technologies Limited (Ford), Less Common Metals Limited (LCM), and British Geological Survey (BGS) to create a UK rare earth supply chain from recycled magnets;
  • Ionic Technologies’ world leading recycling technology will be used to produce high purity, separated and traceable rare earths from end-of-life magnets and swarf, for supply to LCM for alloy production to be converted to NdFeB magnets for ultimate use by Ford in electric vehicle (EV) production;
  • The UK government will support the Ionic Technologies, Ford and LCM partnership via a £1 million project, with Ionic Technologies announced as the major beneficiary and lead collaborator in the focus on delivering the UK’s first domestic sourcing of separated high purity magnet rare earth oxides (REOs);
  • The UK government is supporting an additional £1 million project in funding a feasibility study into the construction and supply side dynamics of a magnet rare earth recycling plant in the UK in collaboration with the British Geological Survey;
  • The funding is part of the UK Government’s circular critical materials supply chains (CLIMATES) program; and
  • The move is an important step towards sovereignty for the UK, in developing market leading technology and building a supportive pathway for Ionic Technologies to commercialise the first magnet recycling facility in Belfast to feed escalating supply chain appetite for circular economy magnet REOs.
Ionic Technologies has secured a collaboration partnership with Ford Technologies (Ford) and Less Common Metals (LCM) to develop a UK supply chain for recycled magnet rare earths to magnets, and in partnership with British Geological Survey to complete a feasibility study and supply chain analysis for a UK magnet recycling facility. Both programs have been successful in obtaining UK government support through grant funding.

Ionic Technologies has successfully, for the second year in a row, secured funding from the UK Government.

Ionic Technologies has developed rare earth element separation and refining technology and applied this to the recycling of spent permanent Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) magnets to enable the creation of sustainable, traceable, and sovereign rare-earth supply chains.

One of these programs will support Ford which currently has four drive production facilities globally.

The majority of Ford’s European Union (EU) production will come from its UK based Halewood facility which is planning to produce close to half a million units per annum by 2026.

To support production at this facility there will be a requirement for over 600 tonnes of magnet raw material per annum. Ford will test and analyse the performance of magnets provided through the project, to prove the efficacy of high specification magnets containing rare earth elements (REEs) of recycled origin from Ionic Technologies.

Each stage of the process from magnet recycling to EV testing will generate waste (magnets and swarf), including the magnets used in Ford's electric vehicle (EV) motors.

Ionic Technologies will recycle this material, thus completing a totally circular rare earth supply chain within the UK.

The two programs totalling £2 million (A$3.90 million), which includes a direct cash injection of approximately £750,000, is for Ionic Technologies to become the lead collaborator for the two CLIMATES projects.

Ionic Technologies will take the lead with organisations that are developing secure and traceable critical minerals supply chains in the UK and the EU.

Ionic Rare Earth’s Managing Director Tim Harrison commented;

“We are harnessing our technology to accelerate mining, refining and recycling of magnet and heavy rare earths critical for energy transition, advanced manufacturing, and defence,” Ionic Rare Earth’s Managing Director Tim Harrison said.

He said that the “CLIMATES funding that Ionic Technologies had been awarded by Innovate UK demonstrated IonicRE’s strategy to create a collaborative, western supply chain for Rare Earths with Ford Technologies and Less Common Metals in the UK and European Union.”

“The other CLIMATES grant would see Ionic Technologies develop the business case and potential scale up of a commercial magnet recycling facility in Belfast, in partnership with British Geological Survey.”

Thomas Kelly, General Manager of Ionic Technologies said the funding provided was adding significant value to the business.

“Ionic Technologies is driving the emerging supply chain for Rare Earths, and its ability to meet the increasing demand for critical minerals in the UK and abroad.”

“This will enable the UK to meet its Net Zero ambitions, by serving renewable technologies such as wind energy and EV manufacturing,” Kelly said.

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This article includes content from Ionic Rare Earths, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR)

Ionic Rare Earths


Rare earth metals are best classified as difficult to discover and extract. In 2019, nearly 60 percent of global annual production (an estimated 132,000 tonnes) came from China, with only 12.2 percent of production coming from the second largest producer, the United States. But, what are rare earth metals? And why are they more important than ever?

Rare earth metals are classified into two categories: light and heavy. Light rare earth elements (LREEs) are commonly available and include lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, and neodymium. Heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) are more difficult to source (and therefore more expensive), and include samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, yttrium, and scandium.

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