JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – TSX-V- and Aim-listed Mkango Resources has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with research institute Metalysis to jointly research, develop and commercialise novel rare earth metal alloys for use in three-dimensional- (3D-) printed permanent magnets.
Under the MoU, Mkango's knowledge of the performance characteristics and future global demand outlook for rare earth magnets will be combined with Metalysis's disruptive, solid-state process, which can generate high margins from the manufacture of metal powders for among others, the 3D printed market.
"It is a core part of Mkango's strategy to be at the forefront of research and technology in every step of the rare earths supply chain, positioning the company as a future low-cost, sustainable supplier of rare earths used in electric vehicles and other green technologies, which have entered a new phase of accelerating demand growth,” Mkango CEO William Dawes said in a statement on Monday.
Rare earth permanent magnets are a critical component of many electric vehicles, as well as other consumer and green technologies.
The parties envisage a comprehensive research and development (R&D) programme, culminating in the joint pursuit of commercial opportunities, including evaluating the UK as a future host country for a manufacturing plant to exploit a commercialised technology.
China dominates the rare earth permanent magnet industry and, with one of the few rare earths projects outside China to have advanced beyond the prefeasibility stage, Mkango says it is well placed to respond to meeting global demand.
Mkango's share of the first phase of R&D costs will be funded out of existing cash resources.