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Ionic Rare Earths and Seren Technologies forge ahead

The date of: 2022-03-08
viewed: 2


SerenTech is commercialising technology using ionic liquids for separation and refining of rare earth elements (REE), which includes the full cohort of the proposed basket from Makuutu, consisting of the lanthanides series, Lanthanum (La), to Lutetium (Lu), plus Scandium (Sc) and Yttrium (Y).

SerenTech has an exclusive “patent and know-how” licence from Queens University Belfast (QUB) allowing it to develop and commercialise the technology.

Additionally, SerenTech has also developed know-how in this area and lodged a further four (4) global patents, providing a pipeline of opportunities in which to deploy the technology.

The application of SerenTech patented technology has achieved separated and refined products to high purity with REO grades above 99.9% demonstrated at pilot scale in two key applications.

Mining ore concentrate: the pilot scale plant has processed concentrate received from supply chain stake holders and achieved separation of REEs; and

Permanent magnet (Neodymium-Iron-Boron, NdFeB) recycling: the pilot scale plant has processed spent permanent magnets received from supply chain stake holders and achieved extraction of recycled rare earth oxides at purity 99.9% plus.

This technology has the potential to be applied to other critical raw materials.

IonicRE is finalising the due diligence which has included a commercial, finance, legal, intellectual property, and technical review. IonicRE Managing Director, Tim Harrison, recently completed a visit to SerenTech at QUB, and affiliate Queens University Ionic Liquids Laboratory (QUILL), to discuss recent technical advances with the team and discuss strategies for commercialisation over the next 18 months.

Given the nature of the extensive review, the exclusivity period has been extended until 31 March 2022 to enable all remaining items to be finalised including the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA).

A submission has been made to the UK National Security and Investment Act 2021, which came into effect on 4 January 2022, for approval from the UK regulators given SerenTech constitutes a “qualifying entity” for the purposes of SI 2021 No. 1264, more specifically SerenTech conducts activities which fall within the defined sector of Advanced Materials.

IonicRE Managing Director Tim Harrison commented:

“The due diligence process has to date identified no issues for IonicRE and vendors to finalise the transaction, and planning is progressing well for the integration of SerenTech and the team into IonicRE.

“Together we have been mapping out a strategy to accelerate the development of the technology, specifically in magnet recycling applications across the EU, UK, and USA, plus supporting the efforts of IonicRE in optimising the flowsheet design for a rare earth refinery to unlock the basket potential of the Makuutu Rare Earths Project. We look forward to completing the transaction at the earliest opportunity.”

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