Ionic Rare Earths Limited’s (ASX: IXR) subsidiary Ionic Technologies has secured a collaboration partnership with Ford Technologies and Less Common Metals (LCM) to develop a UK supply chain for recycled magnet rare earths to magnets.
The collaboration will work in partnership with the British Geological Survey to complete a feasibility study and supply chain analysis for a UK magnet recycling facility. Both programmes 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.
Ionic Technologies will take the lead with organisations that are developing secure and traceable critical minerals supply chains in the UK and the EU.
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,” Mr Kelly said.