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Belfast magnet recycling plant by Ionic Rare Earths draws global interest

Tim Harrison, the managing director of Ionic Rare Earths Ltd, recently spoke with Jonathan Jackson in the Proactive studio about the significant global interest the company has garnered for its Belfast Magnet Recycling Demonstration Plant. In the interview, Harrison delves into the plant’s upcoming production schedule and the potential partnerships on the horizon.

IonicRE is charting an ambitious course with an 18-month production schedule extending into the third quarter of 2025. The plant serves as a pivotal showcase, highlighting Ionic’s ability to provide secure and sustainable alternatives for magnet rare earth oxides (REO) while mitigating much of the capital and risk typically associated with new mining and refinery ventures. This approach underscores not only cost-efficiency but also substantial reductions in technical and deliverability risks.

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The company is witnessing a surge in demand for its innovative recycling technology from various participants in the supply chain and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). With this rising demand and the current production framework, Ionic is exploring avenues to expand its capacity. Harrison remarked in a recent announcement, “The increasing demand for recycled and high-quality REO products places us uniquely in the market, particularly with our strategic location in Belfast, providing access to both European Union and United Kingdom markets.”

Ionic Rare Earths is currently engaged in advanced discussions for potential commercial partnerships that could leverage its technology for REO production, with a specific focus on recycling technologies such as those used for permanent magnets in wind turbines. These developments position Ionic as a significant player in efforts to reduce reliance on traditional REO supply chains, which are primarily dominated by China.

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