Ionic Rare Earths Limited (ASX: IXR) has entered into a binding Term Sheet for the acquisition of 100% of Seren Technologies Limited, a UK private company with unique and leading-edge rare earth separation technology.
SerenTech has an exclusive “patent and know-how” licence from Queens University Belfast allowing it to develop and commercialise technology relating to Multifunctional Amide Ionic Liquids for Separation of Rare Earth metals (MAIL).
The UK company has also developed further know-how in this area and lodged a further four global patents, providing a pipeline of opportunities in which to deploy the technology. The technology uses Multifunctional Amide Ionic Liquids (MAIL) for separation and refining of rare earth elements (REE), which includes the full contingent of the proposed basket from Makuutu; consisting of the lanthanides series, Lanthanum (La), to Lutetium (Lu), plus Scandium (Sc) and Yttrium (Y).
Separated and refined products to high purity above 99.99% REO grades have been demonstrated at pilot scale in two key applications;
• Mining ore concentrate: the pilot scale plant has processed concentrate received from supply chain stake holders and achieved separation of REEs; and
• Permanent magnet (Neodymium-Iron-Boron, NdFeB) recycling: the pilot scale plant has processed spent permanent magnets received from supply chain stake holders and achieved extraction of 100% recycled rare earth oxides at purity 99.99% plus.
IonicRE Managing Director, Tim Harrison, said the technology has application potential to other critical raw materials.
“This is another step in IonicRE’s transition to be a vertically integrated rare earths company. The IonicRE Board and management are very excited as to the potential this Agreement and technology brings to the company,” Mr Harrison said.
“The addition of SerenTech to the group will provide the Company with additional capability for rare earth separation, to individual rare earth elements refined to high purity oxides, which will further advance the Company’s plan to unlock additional value from the unique critical and heavy rare earth basket to be produced at Makuutu.
“Importantly, there is immediate potential to roll out a strategy incorporating permanent magnet recycling into the near-term activities of the Company, providing an interim step to help bridge the gap between production at Makuutu and going downstream with our own dedicated separation and refining asset.
“Longer term, the synergies that can be created from this acquisition and technology, have substantial upside. IonicRE will aim to integrate new, secure and traceable rare earth production to supply western end users.
“This will create a significant opportunity where IonicRE will maximise its control, and market share, through supplying the unique rare earth basket from Makuutu, at a time when significant shortfalls are forecast.
“The recycling of NdFeB magnets, used in electric motors, wind turbine generators and consumer electronics, is likely to become increasingly important as the lag on project development, capital investment and ramping up of capital intensive hard rock rare earth projects becomes evident, and where some estimates forecast up to 25% of the magnet rare earth supply could be from recycling by the end of this decade.”
For further information please visit: https://ionicre.com.au/