Mkango Resources, a mining contractor listed on Aim, and Metalysis, a metal research institute based in South Yorkshire, have partnered to develop 3D-printed rare earth magnets, which are vital components in electric vehicles.
The mining contractor has signed a memorandum of understanding with Metalysis to conduct joint research and also to develop and commercialise rare earth metals so that they can be used to create permanent 3D-printed magnets.
Besides being used in electric vehicles, rare earth magnets have a use in a number of consumer products and green technologies. With nations shifting away from petroleum products, several automobile manufacturers are developing electric vehicles, and this has increased the demand for rare earth magnets. This is also one of the ways that automobile manufacturers can reduce emissions and conform to the strict EU emission laws that will come into effect in 2021.
Mkango Resources has two licences to mine rare earths in Malawi, and it will be using its knowledge of earth magnets with the help of the patented technology of Metalysis. While both firms have not revealed the details of the collaboration, the mining contractor stated that the cost of the research and development for the first phase will be funded with its existing cash resources.
Mkango Resources Chief Executive William Dawes said that the company’s strategy is to be at the forefront of research and technology in the supply chain of rare earth metals, and it wants to become a leading supplier of affordable and sustainable rare earth metal magnets that can be utilised in electric vehicles and other high-growth green technologies.
Presently, China is the world leader in the rare earth magnet industry, and it is anticipated that the partnership between Mkango Resources and Metalysis will prove to be extremely beneficial for the industry.