“Geomega, USA Rare Earth recycling pact” By Shane Lasley Metal Tech News
The letter of intent with Geomega lays the groundwork for USA Rare Earths and Texas Mineral Resources to add a circular component to their mines-to-magnets supply chain and a potential means of generating cash even before the Round Top mine at the front end of the chain goes into production.
Already involved in nearly every facet of the rare earth supply chain, from mining these technology elements to manufacturing powerful REE magnets, USA Rare Earth LLC has cut a deal with Geomega Resources Inc. to recycle these metals. Under a letter of intent signed by the companies on July 15, Quebec-based Geomega would recycle rare earth-containi…
The process of manufacturing and machining sintered (compacting powder into a solid mass) neodymium magnet blocks generates up to 30% magnet chips and scrap, which needs to be recycled.
“Every rare earth magnet factory produces waste; it is just the nature of the business because it is a difficult material to work with,” said Geomega Resources President and CEO Kiril Mugerman. “When Hitachi operated this plant, the waste was sent to Asia.”
A neodymium magnet manufacturing facility that takes advantage of the full capacity of the equipment acquired by USA Rare Earth would generate somewhere around 600 metric tons of waste annually, which Geomega plans to recycle back into the North American REE supply chain.
“By working together, we will make sure that these rare earths remain here and are used again and again to make rare earth magnets for the North American market,” said Mugerman.
Geomega will use its proprietary ISR technology to extract the rare earths from the magnet scrap produced. The company said ISR is inexpensive and is more environmentally sound than traditional solvent extraction rare earth recycling techniques.