Canadian rare earth magnet recycling pact
Geomega, Everwin sign LOI to recover REEs from Ontario plant Metal Tech News – February 10, 2021
Last updated 2/16/2021 at 5:12pm
Geomega Resources Inc. has entered into a preliminary agreement to recycle rare earths from a neodymium-iron-boron magnet production facility Everwin Magnetics Co. is developing in Ontario, Canada.
Everwin is a subsidiary of Forte Mobility Co., a private company established in 2019 to design and manufacture customized electric buses and vans for public transit agencies and fleet customers in North America. Toward this goal, the company recently acquired a 435,659-square-foot facility in Aurora, Ontario.
Within this large campus, Everwin has carved out about 20,000 square feet for a facility to produce about 300 metric tons of rare earth magnets for the electric vehicle market.
"Our main market will be focused on various permanent magnet motors used in cars, especially the EVs as there will be a significant demand," said Everwin Magnetics Manager Howard Peng.
This marks the first neodymium-iron-boron magnet facility to be built in Canada.
"It was only a question of time before companies like Everwin have decided to bring the expertise they have developed over decades in the magnet industry in China to Canada," said Geomega Resources President and CEO Kiril Mugerman.
Geomega is commercializing a proprietary rare earth separation technology known as ISR (Innord's separation of rare earths) to recover the valuable metals from magnets at its recycling facility in Quebec.
In addition to recycling rare earths from used magnets, Geomega is looking to source scraps from the magnet producing process.
All rare earth magnet producing facilities end up with chips and scrap produced during the manufacturing, shaping, and machining processes. The ability to recycle this scrap is expected to improve the viability of Everwin's Canada plant.
"The increase of manufacturing cost in Asia combined with automation of the production process and the cooperation with Geomega to further reduce the waste by recycling makes it competitive to produce the magnet here in North America. This will improve our customer satisfaction by reducing lead-time and convenient communication," said Peng.
The Everwin manager says the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade, enacted last year, provides further advantages for reaching North American markets from the Canadian facility.
"We shall have a complete supply chain from rare earth raw materials to finished magnet products and recycling thanks to a large resource of these materials in North America," Peng added.
Geomega says its pilot plant has the ability to recover more than 90% of rare earths contained in magnets at a purity of 99.5% rare earth oxides, while also recovering around 90% of the reagents used in the separation and recovery process.
In addition, the recovery of boron and hydrogen were successfully tested and integrated into the recycling process, which will add to the efficiency and economics of a demonstration scale plant to be built in Quebec.
More information on Geomega's pilot plant and planned expansion can be read at Geomega ready to scale up REE recycling in the January 13 edition of Metal Tech News.
Under a letter of intent signed between the companies, Geomega would use its process to recycle rare earths from Everwin's magnet plant.
"We are very excited to be working with Everwin as they look to start production in Canada. This type of operation will produce on average 25% magnet waste and swarf that will need to be recycled at our rare earths recycling facility in St-Bruno," said Mugerman.
As a rare earths veteran, Peng is confident in Geomega's technology.
"With 30 years experience in the industry, we are confident that we will provide customers the best value under this cooperative structure with Geomega," he said.
Geomega has also entered into a letter of intent to recycle rare earths from a neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnet facility USA Rare Earth LLC plans to develop in the United States. More information on this can be read at Geomega, USA Rare Earth recycling pact in the July 22 edition of Metal Tech News.