EU Critical Raw Materials Act puts eyes on IonicRE facility

Junior explorer Ionic Rare Earths (ASX:IXR) has touted its Ionic Technologies facility in Belfast, UK, as a key beneficiary of the European Union’s new Critical Raw Materials Act legislation. 

The new laws will look to encourage the recycling of magnet rare earths — now classified as ‘strategic raw materials’ — across the EU, with the common text for the Act upgrading the benchmark for the recycling of these materials to 25% of annual consumption by 2030 from the current benchmark of 15%. 

It bodes well for those looking to break into the rare earths recycling space, which includes Ionic and its Belfast facility, according to Managing Director Tim Harrison. 

The MD says the Ionic Facility is already progressing key discussions with magnet manufacturers on the recycling of swarf — a term for metal- and magnet-making waste.

The facility is also exploring opportunities to access a steady supply of magnets for recycling from sources such as end-of-life turbines from grid-scale wind warms and electric vehicle components. 

With the European Parliament and EU government agreeing to the common text for the new Critical Raw Materials Act, Harrison says the Belfast facility is primed to support the cause. 

“Our proprietary magnet recycling technology will help the EU meet these targets to develop domestic, secure, and sustainable supply chains to address strategic supply and sovereign security.” 

“Our proprietary magnet recycling technology will help the EU meet these targets to develop domestic, secure, and sustainable supply chains to address strategic supply and sovereign security”

In a press release from November 13, the EU said the Act was designed to cut red tape and promote innovation along the entire critical materials value chain, with a specific focus on supporting small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and boosting research and development for environmentally friendly mining and production. 

The legislation will set up economic incentives and a more stable and secure business framework for the deployment of mining and recycling projects, with faster and simpler authorisation processes,” the press release said. 

The Act aims to increase and diversify the EU’s critical raw materials supply, strengthen ‘circularity’, which is where recycling comes into the picture, and support innovation on resource efficiency. 

The EU Parliament and Council will now need to approve an informal agreement to be put to a vote in the Industry, Research and Energy committee before the new Act can become law. The vote is slated for 7 December. 

Along with its Belfast facility, Ionic Rare Earths is busy earning a 60% interest in the Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda. 

As of 30 September, Ionic had $5.7 million cash and cash equivalents at hand. The company on 20 November announced a $5.9 million share placement and $2 million purchase plan to top up its balance sheet.

Ionic has a market capitalisation of $79.12 million. 

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au

Images: Ionic Technologies
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.