Mkango signs downstream REE deal

Canadian rare earth elements (REE) miner Mkango has signed an investment deal worth £3.5 Million (US$4.4 million) with Canadian technology company CoTec that covers rare earth processing technology opportunities in the United States.

Mkango said the deal entails CoTec investing £2 million (C$3.2 million) into Mkango, and £1.5 million (C$2.4 million) into its subsidiary, Maginito, equating to a 10% equity stake in Maginito for the purposes of strategic investments in downstream rare earth technologies and working capital.

Maginito is focused on developing green technology opportunities in the rare earths supply chain, encompassing neodymium (NdFeB) magnet recycling as well as innovative rare earth alloy, magnet, and separation technologies. Maginito holds a 42% interest in U.K. rare earth (NdFeB) magnet recycler, HyProMag.

Hypromag has licensed the patented technology called HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap) developed in the Magnetic Materials Group (MMG) at the University of Birmingham.

HyProMag’s strategy is to establish short loop recycling facilities for NdFeB magnets at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham, U.K. (the “Tyseley Recycling Facilities”) and other locations to provide a sustainable solution for the supply of NdFeB magnets and alloy powders for a wide range of markets including, for example, automotive and electronics.

Mkango UK is establishing a pilot plant at Tyseley Energy Park to chemically process recycled HPMS NdFeB powder and magnet swarf (i.e. the powder produced from grinding and finishing magnets) from a range of scrap sources including electronic waste, electric motors and wind turbines, complementing the short loop magnet recycling routes being developed in parallel by HyProMag.

Mkango is developing Songwe Hill in Malawi with a Feasibility Study nearing completion. Malawi is known as “The Warm Heart of Africa”, a stable democracy with existing road, rail and power infrastructure, and new infrastructure developments underway.

In parallel, Mkango and Grupa Azoty PULAWY, Poland’s leading chemical company and the second largest manufacturer of nitrogen and compound fertilizers in the European Union, have agreed to work together towards development of a rare earth Separation Plant at Pulawy in Poland (the “Pulawy Separation Plant”). The Pulawy Separation Plant will process the purified mixed rare earth carbonate produced at Songwe Hill.

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