“How does my company, Geomega Resources, fit into the rare earths recycling cycle? Geomega uses chemical processing to extract and produce purified rare earth oxides that are otherwise trapped in magnets. The magnet cannot be directly reused, because often the shape, size, coating and magnetic specifications will be hard to match to a specific application. Geomega’s process allows us to recover the rare earths and to ship them to metal and magnet manufacturers that will be able to make new products to the specifications of the end users.”
Geomega’s process allows the company to “maximize the reagent so that there is minimal to no waste,” he says. What waste there is is treated locally without the need to store trailings. Geomega’s process produces REE oxides with 99.5 percent purity, Mugerman says. The company is in the process of constructing a demonstration facility in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, in the Greater Montreal area. Construction of the industrial complex was completed at the end of 2019 with final detail work underway. While the pandemic has delayed progress on the plant, Mugerman says he hopes it will be operational by year-end. Once operational, the plant will be able to process 1.5 metric tons in an eight-hour shift, he says.
“We are very excited to work together with Jobmaster Magnets on setting an example and becoming a leader in magnet collection and recycling. Jobmaster Magnets is one of the largest and oldest Canadian magnet suppliers with over 35 years’ experience in the industry. They serve various industries including the automotive and manufacturing sectors, both major users of magnets. Jobmaster Magnets’ clients, in Canada and abroad, will be able to benefit from having their magnets recycled in a clean and sustainable way right here in Canada while preserving this critical resource from going to the land fills. As outlined in the U.S. Federal Government open funding opportunity for REE separation and processing project that Geomega is applying for, recycled feedstocks are being considered as a potential source. This first collaboration agreement is a step forward to establish a rare earth magnet recycling industry in North America to produce a consistent, reliable and sustainable supply of the required magnet focused rare earths (Nd, Pr, Dy, Tb) for future government and commercial needs.” commented Kiril Mugerman, President & CEO of Geomega.
“We are extremely pleased to have attracted an engineering group of Hatch caliber to work on the next stage of engineering together with Geomega’s team. Hatch has taken part in some of the most complex recent mining and processing projects in Canada and globally and is well suited to bring Geomega its technical and project delivery expertise to this demonstration plant project. With a strong engineering partner, government support and significant interest in the rare earth sector today globally, we are very excited to develop the first rare earths magnet recycling facility outside of Asia right here in Quebec, Canada. Other major milestones will be announced in the near future as we put forward our strategy to develop the rare earths magnet recycling facility in St Bruno, Quebec.” commented Kiril Mugerman, President & CEO of Geomega.
” Most importantly is the access to major seaways with access to the Port of Montreal, 20 minutes, which is the largest container transhipment centre in the Great Lakes system – Saint Lawrence Seaway and a direct link to Europe and the East coast of the United States and the marine terminal in Contrecoeur which is only 30 minutes away. Furthermore, the region is served by Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific (CP) railways. The region is already host to the Canadian Space Agency and several major international firms. “
Geomega Resources is improving its proprietary ISR technology as it moves closer to being Canada’s first rare earth elements recycler and the only one outside China. The company operates a pilot plant and has made several optimizations recently.