In a collaborative effort, scientists from the University of Birmingham and CoTec have joined forces to develop groundbreaking technologies for mineral extraction. The partnership, solidified by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), combines the University’s research expertise with CoTec’s extensive industry experience and network, as well as their access to potential operating assets.
This new agreement serves as a complement to CoTec’s existing relationship with the University of Birmingham through their rare earth investments in Mkango Resources and Maginito Limited. Maginito, currently owned by Mkango and CoTec on a 90%/10% basis, is the owner of HyProMag Limited.
The recycling technology utilized by HyProMag was originally developed by materials scientists at the University of Birmingham. This technology, known as Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS), enables the extraction of rare earth magnets from scrap and redundant equipment. With rare earth magnets being vital components in clean energy technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbine generators, the potential impact of this research is substantial.
“The guidance provided by CoTec will be instrumental in the advancement of our technology development plans,” remarked Professor Allan Walton, Head of the University of Birmingham’s Magnetic Materials Group and co-founder of HyProMag, in a recent media statement. “This agreement significantly enhances our center’s capability to develop processes at a higher technology readiness level, leading to real-world applications.”
Last year, a pilot plant for HPMS recycling was established at the University of Birmingham. Currently, efforts are underway to construct a large-scale “short loop” recycling facility at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham.