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Mkango announces Hypromag expansion into Germany

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Global Mining Review,

Mkango Resources Ltd has announced that HyProMag Ltd has established an 80% owned German subsidiary, HyProMag GmbH. HyProMag GmbH 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.

Germany 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. Germany has no domestic sources of primary rare earths. Development of domestic sources of recycled rare earths via the patented hydrogen processing of magnet scrap (HPMS) technology is a significant opportunity to diversify and strengthen development of a more resilient rare earths supply chain in Europe.

The HPMS process for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) 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. As an affiliated company, HyProMag GmbH is covered by the exclusive license of HyProMag and the companies will share new developments. Rare earth magnets play a key role in clean energy technologies including electric vehicles and wind turbine generators, and they are also a key component in electronic devices including mobile phones, hard disk drives and loudspeakers.

Mkango’s wholly owned subsidiary, Maginito Ltd, 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.

William Dawes, Chief Executive of Mkango, said: “This is an exciting milestone for HyProMag, positioning the company for further growth in Europe and internationally. The establishment of HyProMag GmbH also 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 UK, EU and international markets, as it scales up to commercial production.”

Professor Carlo Burkhardt, Director of HyProMag GmbH, added: “I am very pleased to be a founding shareholder and to join the Board of HyProMag GmbH, which provides an excellent platform to grow the business in Germany and Europe. It’s tremendously exciting to see the huge strides we all collectively have 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.”

David Kennedy, Director of HyProMag, concluded: “The collaborative research and development undertaken by the The Magnetic Materials Group at the University of Birmingham encourages exploitation of Intellectual Property and establishment of new industry. 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. Due to our extensive and successful work to date with Prof. Burkhardt, we expect that our joint efforts through HyProMag GmbH will fulfill HyProMag’s objectives to extend the technology into Europe and to exploit the extensive magnet scrap potential of the European Union. This supports HyProMag’s plan to establish manufacturing centres in both the UK and in the EU, accessing RE magnet waste streams throughout Europe.”

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