HyProMag was founded in 2018 by the late Professor Emeritus Rex Harris, former Head of The Magnetic Materials Group (“MMG”) within the School of Metallurgy and Materials at the University of Birmingham; Professor Allan Walton, current Head of the MMG; and two Honorary Fellows, Dr John Speight and Mr David Kennedy, leading world experts in the field of rare earth magnetic materials, alloys and hydrogen technology, with significant industry experience. Following a transaction completed in August 2023, HyProMag is 100% owned by Maginito Limited, a 90% owned subsidiary of UK and Canada listed, Mkango Resources Ltd (TSXV/AIM:MKA). Our aim is to develop a full recycling supply chain for rare earth magnets based upon neodymium iron boron (NdFeB). HyProMag has licensed the patented technology called HPMS (Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap) developed in the Magnetic Materials Group (MMG) at the University of Birmingham. This patent and related Intellectual Property is at the core of HyProMag. HPMS is a hydrogen based process which is used to extract NdFeB magnets from electrical products such as hard disk drives. The extracted NdFeB powder is in the form of an alloy which can be re-processed into different forms which can be sold back into the supply chain for rare earth magnets.
The MMG has been active in the field of rare earth alloys and processing of permanent magnets using hydrogen for over 40 years. Originated by Professor Emeritus Rex Harris, the hydrogen decrepitation method, which is used to reduce NdFeB alloys to a powder, is now ubiquitously employed in worldwide magnet processing. The HPMS process was originally developed within the MMG and subsequently licenced to HyProMag.HPMS is a key enabler for recycling of rare earth magnets in electronics, electric vehicles, robotics, wind turbines and other applications, with major competitive advantages in the rare earth magnet recycling sector, underpinned by approximately US$100m of R&D expenditure at the University of Birmingham and with associated project partners. This is coupled with the ability to manufacture rare earth alloys and magnets with significantly reduced carbon footprint. HyProMag is establishing short loop recycling facilities for NdFeB magnets at Tyseley Energy Park in Birmingham, UK and other locations using the patented HPMS process to provide a sustainable solution for the supply of NdFeB magnets and alloys for a wide range of markets including, for example, automotive and electronics. Short loop magnet recycling is expected to have a significant environmental benefit, requiring an estimated 88% less energy versus primary mining to separation to metal alloy to magnet production. The plant at Tyseley Energy Park is being developed together with the University of Birmingham, with a minimum capacity of 100tpa NdFeB. This £4.3 million project is being funded by Driving the Electric Revolution, an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund challenge delivered by UK Research and Innovation (“UKRI”). The focus of the project is to take the HPMS technology to a greater scale and efficiency with revolutionary new design of processing equipment and extensive automation of processing methods for inert atmosphere powder handling and pressing. HyProMag is the primary industrial user and operator of the plant. First production is targeted for late 2023, which follows successful piloting at the University of Birmingham in 2022 as featured on BBC Midlands News: Solving a sticky problem. Recycling superstrong magnets! In November 2021, HyProMag established an 80%-owned subsidiary in Germany, HyProMag GmbH, to roll out commercialisation of HPMS technology into Germany and Europe. HyProMag GmbH is 20% owned (10% following conversion of the HyProMag GmbH convertible loan) by Professor Carlo Burkhardt of Pforzheim University, co-ordinator of the €14m SusMagPro and €13m REEsilience EU funded recycling projects, with approximately 40 partners across the European supply chain. HyProMag GmbH is developing a similar sized plant to that at Tyseley Energy Park. Initial capacity is expected to be a minimum of 100tpa NdFeB, comprising recycled rare earth sintered magnets and alloys and will be the first in Germany using the patented HPMS process, with first production targeted for 2024.