Rare Earths: British Recycling Pioneer Establishes U.S. Branch

by | 14. Sep 2023 - 12:32 | Economy

HyProMag aims to expand its technology for recovering rare earth magnets from e-waste and help diversify supply chains.

HyProMag, a UK-based rare earth magnet recycling company, is aiming to introduce its technology to the US. A joint venture has been formed for this purpose, with 50 percent each held by HyProMag’s owner, Maginito Limited, and CoTec Holdings, an investment company for environmentally friendly raw material mining and processing.

HyProMag uses a patented technology called HPMS, a hydrogen-based recycling process developed at the University of Birmingham. According to the company, the rare earth elements neodymium and praseodymium can thus be recovered with a very low environmental footprint in powder form from electrical products to be subsequently processed into new magnetic materials or rare earth alloys.

In addition to the United Kingdom, where production of recycled rare earth magnets is scheduled to start this year, HyProMag is also marketing the technology in Germany (we reported). Production is expected to begin in 2024 there. For the U.S., a feasibility study is planned first. According to CoTec and Canadian mining group Mkango, which holds a 90 percent stake in Maginito, U.S. government funding will be sought.

Currently, less than five percent of rare earth magnets are recycled, Mkango CEO Will Dawes said. HPMS technology could help develop a new source of rare earths while avoiding waste and reducing the carbon footprint.

Another project, involving HyProMag, is intended to contribute to the recycling of rare earth magnets from retired wind turbines (we reported). Only on Tuesday, Mkango announced that the British government had pledged funding for this initiative.

Photo: iStock/Nikolay Chekalin

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