Mkango Resources Ltd. has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (“MOU”) with Metalysis Limited to jointly research, develop and commercialize novel rare earth from metal alloys for use in permanent three-dimensional (3D) printed rare earth magnets.
The MOU will combine Mkango’s intelligence surrounding the performance characteristics and future global demand outlook for rare earth magnets with Metalysis’ disruptive, solid-state process, which can generate high margins from the manufacture of metal powders for markets including 3D printing. Together, the parties envisage a comprehensive research and development (“R&D”) programme, culminating in the joint pursuit of commercial opportunities. One such opportunity includes evaluating the United Kingdom as a future host country for a manufacturing plant to exploit a commercialized technology.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with Metalysis. 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. The R&D programme will seek to enhance marketing flexibility, increase future margins and affirm the Company’s competitive positioning.” William Dawes, Chief Executive Officer of Mkango.
Rare earth permanent magnets are a critical component of many electric vehicles, as well as other consumer and green technologies. China dominates the rare earth permanent magnet industry, and with one of the few rare earths projects outside China to have advanced beyond the pre-feasibility stage, Mkango is well-placed to respond to the global demand outlook. Mkango’s share of the first phase of R&D costs will be funded out of existing cash resources.
The term Rare Earth Elements (“REE”) is a collective name for the 15 elements in the Lanthanide Series. Due to similar properties, scandium and yttrium are also often considered REEs making a wider group of 17 elements. REEs are divided into two groups: light rare earth elements (“LREE”) and heavy rare earth elements (“HREE”) based on their atomic weight. A further grouping termed critical rare earths (“CRE”) has been established based on their importance to clean energy and potential supply risk. This has been supplemented to a certain extent by a grouping of rare earths used in the high strength permanent magnet sector which currently has the most favorable supply demand outlook
Metalysis is a growing company, based in South Yorkshire, U.K, with global rights to disruptive technology posing proven economic and environmental benefits over traditional metal production methods. The Company is committed to transforming the metals industry through its patented process for producing Titanium, Tantalum, other metals and innovative alloy powders.
Metalysis’ process, originating from the University of Cambridge and proven at industrial scale, can generate high margins from the manufacture of metal powders for markets including 3D printing.
Mkango’s primary business is the exploration for rare earth elements and associated minerals in the Republic of Malawi, a country whose hospitable people have earned it a reputation as “the warm heart of Africa.” Mkango holds, through its wholly owned subsidiary Lancaster Exploration Limited, a 100% interest in two exclusive prospecting licenses in southern Malawi, the Phalombe licence and the Thambani licence.
The main exploration target in the Phalombe license is the Songwe Hill rare earths’ deposit, which features carbonatite hosted rare earth mineralisation and was subject to previous exploration in the late 1980s. Mkango completed an updated Pre-feasibility Study for the project in November 2015. Mkango’s strategy for Songwe is to further optimize the project with a view to maximizing efficiency and reducing costs, thereby providing a strong platform for entering into partnerships, marketing and offtake arrangements. The main exploration targets in the Thambani license are uranium, niobium, tantalum and other associated minerals.