Mkango launches new website for Maginito

2020-11-18T14:19:52+00:00 November 20th, 2020|News|

Mining company Mkango Resources has launched a new website for Maginito.

Maginito is 75.5% owned by Mkango and 24.5% by Talaxis. Mkango is in the process of completing a Feasibility Study for the Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi. Talaxis is focused on investment in and development of technology metal opportunities.

Maginito was initially established to pursue downstream green technology opportunities in the rare earths supply chain, encompassing neodymium (NdFeB) magnet recycling as well as innovative rare earth alloy, magnet, and separation technologies.

Maginito’s strategy is underpinned by offtake rights for sustainably sourced primary and secondary raw materials and geared to accelerating growth in the electric vehicle sector, wind power generation and other industries driven by decarbonisation of the economy.

Mkango Resources is doing exploration work in Malawi. Image credit: Mkango Resources

Mkango Resources is doing exploration work in Malawi. Image credit: Mkango Resources

In January 2020, Maginito acquired a 25% interest in UK-based NdFeB magnet recycler, HyProMag, with an option to increase its shareholding to 49%. HyProMag is focused on short loop NdFeB magnet recycling using a hydrogen-based technology (HPMS) developed at the Magnetic Materials Group (MMG) within the University of Birmingham. HyProMag is a partner in the Innovate UK grant funded project, “Rare-Earth Recycling for E-Machines” (“RaRE”) together with the University of Birmingham, Advanced Electric Machines Research, Bentley Motors, Intelligent Lifecycle Solutions and Unipart Powertrain Applications, which will for the first time establish an end-to-end supply chain to incorporate recycled rare earth magnets into electric vehicles. Maginito is currently evaluating a number of other complementary downstream technology opportunities.

The Magnetic Materials Group within the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham has been active in the field of rare earth alloys and processing of permanent magnets using hydrogen for over 40 years. Originated by Professor Rex Harris, the hydrogen decrepitation method, which is used to reduce NdFeB alloys to a powder, is now ubiquitously employed in worldwide magnet processing.

In a further development, the MMG patented a process for extracting and demagnetising NdFeB powders from magnets embedded in redundant equipment using hydrogen in a process called HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap). This patent and related intellectual property is at the core of HyProMag’s business. The MMG continues to develop new research and development opportunities, cooperates widely in Europe, including a major EU project, SusMagPro, which is also focused on recycling of magnets. The directors of HyProMag all provide their expertise to the MMG and there is potential for HyProMag to gain possible future access to new intellectual property.

HyProMag is also a partner in the Innovate UK grant funded project, “Rare-Earth Recycling for E-Machines” (“RaRE”) together with University of Birmingham, Advanced Electric Machines Research Bentley Motors, Intelligent Lifecycle Solutions and Unipart Powertrain Applications.

RaRE will for the first time establish an end to end supply chain to incorporate recycled rare earth magnets into electric vehicles, whereby recycled magnets will be built into an ancillary electric motor to ultimately support the development of a commercial ancillary motor suite.

HyProMag’s strategy is to establish a recycling facility for NdFeB magnets at Tyseley in Birmingham to provide a sustainable solution for the supply of NdFeB magnets and alloy powders for a wide range of markets including, for example, automotive and electronics.

A number of product options are being evaluated including hydrogen decrepitated (HD) demagnetised powders suitable for magnet producers, alloy ingot remelted from HD powders suitable for alloy feed or magnet production, anisotropic alloy powders (HDDR) for bonded magnets and sintered NdFeB magnets as required by the RaRE project for automotive applications.

The founding directors of HyProMag, comprising Professor Emeritus Rex Harris, former head of the MMG, Professor Allan Walton, current head of the MMG, and two honorary fellows, Dr John Speight and  David Kennedy, are leading world experts in the field of rare earth magnetic materials, alloys and hydrogen technology, and have significant industry experience. Following the investment by Maginito, HyProMag appointed William Dawes, a director of Maginito and CEO of Mkango, to the Board of HyProMag.

Mkango’s primary business is exploration for rare earth elements and associated minerals in Malawi, a country whose hospitable people have earned it a reputation as “the warm heart of Africa”. The company holds interests in four exclusive prospecting licenses in Malawi: the Phalombe licence, the Thambani licence, the Chimimbe Hill licence and the Mchinji licence. The main exploration target in the 51% held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit. This features carbonatite-hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated Pre-Feasibility Study for the project in November 2015 and a Feasibility Study is currently underway, the initial phases of which included a 10 900m drilling programme and an updated mineral resource estimate, announced in February 2019.

In March 2019, the company announced receipt of a GBP7-million (CAD12.3-million) investment from Talaxis to fund completion of the Feasibility Study. Following completion of the Feasibility Study, Talaxis has an option to acquire a further 26% interest in Songwe by arranging financing for project development including funding the equity component thereof.

The main exploration targets in Mkango’s remaining three 100% held licences are, in the Thambani licence, uranium, niobium, tantalum and zircon, in the Chimimbe Hill licence, nickel and cobalt, and in the Mchinji licence, rutile, nickel, cobalt, base metals and graphite.  Mkango recently announced commencement of an extensive exploration program following a new rutile discovery within the Mchinji licence.

Founded in 2016, Talaxis is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Noble Group Holdings and invests in and develops projects that are related to technology metals, with a special focus on rare earth elements. Talaxis focuses on battery and electric vehicle materials such as nickel, lithium, graphite, and vanadium. Talaxis has supply chain partners in the upstream and midstream segments, and also focuses on research and development solutions for industrial consumers in the downstream segment. Talaxis prioritises sustainable ventures with a strong emphasis on corporate social responsibility. These include projects that contribute to the decarbonisation of the economy and that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.