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Pilot facility aims to disrupt rare earth recycling

Canadian technology company Geomega Resources has secured financing for a rare earth magnet recycling demonstration plant near Quebec.

Based in Montreal, Geomega Resources has developed a proprietary technology that recycles rare earth elements like neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium. Company ceo Kiril Mugerman is confident the new ‘disruptive’ separation process can make a huge difference.

‘We are working with Hatch Engineering to advance the development of this first rare earth recycling plant outside of Asia,’ Mugerman says. He expects initial production of the demonstration plant to kick off by the end of the year.

‘We are going to process 1.5 tonnes of magnet waste per day as our starting point.’
The output will be recycled rare earth oxides, with the same characteristics as those coming from a mine.

Around 50% of the engineering work is being funded by the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.

‘We’re currently focussing on recycling the metals from industrial waste to further de-risk our technology and begin generating cash flow before we apply it to the mining industry,’ Mugerman points out.

Giving something back

Meanwhile, Geomega recently shifted production efforts towards the production of hand sanitiser to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
‘We are fortunate that Covid-19 has had little impact on our day-to-day operations but we realised there was a need to give back,’ Mugerman says.

‘We modified our rare earth pilot facility, located at the National Research Council in Boucherville, to produce hand sanitiser predominately for retirement homes and hospitals that are in urgent need of this product to help combat the spread of the pandemic.’

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