USA: Austin-based Company to Build a Magnet Recycling Plant

Urban Mining Company – developers of the proprietary Magnet-to-Magnet recycling process – have completed a 25 million US-Dollar “Series A financing” for the construction and operation of a magnet recycling and manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Austin, Texas.

“The first step towards commercializing our technology is capital intensive”,  commented Scott Dunn, CEO of the privately held Urban Mining Company,  “and our Series A financing reflects the confidence of our team and our investors in Urban Mining‘s product and business model.“ The company‘s patented Magnet-to-Magnet recycling approach is meant to take scrap rare earth magnets and reprocesses them into new, high-performance magnets.

As reported, recovered waste NdFeB is directly inserted into the recycling process. The recycling method “does not require that material be chemically reduced/converted to pure elements, and exhibits maximum efficiency by eliminating energy and chemical intensive processes traditionally used including refining, alloying, and strip casting”, the company assured.

Clean Urban Mining process

The Urban Mining process is said to be clean – zero chemical inputs and wastewater. “The magnetic properties of our magnets are designed to customer specifications,“ said Miha Zakotnik, COO of Urban Mining. “The final shape of our magnets is not dependent on the feedstock that we use, and our patented Grain-Boundary Engineering process gives us complete control over the final composition, grade and magnetic performance of our products.“

The company will use the funding to build and operate a manufacturing facility, capable of producing 250 tons of sintered NdFeB rare earth magnets per year within the next two years. Capacity will be expanded to 1,000 tons per year in a second phase of operation. Urban Mining Company has planned early delivery of its laboratory and prototyping capabilities including state-of-the-art equipment for materials processing and advanced property and microstructure analysis. The laboratory should be operational by the end of summer 2016.