Ionic Rare Earths has announced that it has received investment from the UK Government to build a commercial rare earth magnet recycling plant in Belfast. This facility will supply Ford’s electric vehicle (EV) production facilities in the country. The developer will produce high-purity, separated rare earth metals at the Belfast plant, which will then be supplied to Less Common Metals (LCM) for alloy production. Eventually, these metals will become a magnet for Ford’s local production of electric vehicles.
This project is considered an important step in ensuring a sustainable supply of rare earth materials to support the growth of electric vehicles. Simon Palmer, chief engineer of Ford’s European operations, emphasized the strategic importance of this partnership.
To support production at the Halewood UK facility, Ford’s largest European Union production facility, more than 600 tons of magnet raw material is needed each year. This shows the growing demand for rare earths, which are the most magnetic of all metals and play an important role in various industries, from wind farms to electric vehicles and defense.
The British government’s investment of £2 million ($2.50 million) in this project is in line with its efforts to promote a circular rare earth magnet economy and diversify supply chains away from China, the dominant producer. of rare earth magnets. This step is part of the global shift towards reducing dependence on a single source and ensuring a more sustainable and stable supply of critical materials.
In summary, this partnership between Ionic Rare Earths and Ford to build a commercial rare earth magnet recycling plant highlights the growing importance of rare earths in the electric vehicle industry and the need for a reliable, environmentally friendly supply chain.