Wednesday 13 September 2023

Cash magnets: £6.6m to boost UK’s minerals supply

Cash magnets: £6.6m to boost UK’s minerals supply

Nearly £6.6 million has been allocated to UK research projects by Innovate UK to strengthen the nation's critical minerals supply chain.

This investment comes as part of the CLIMATES programme and aims to ensure the resilience of the supply chain for critical minerals, widely used in various industries.

Out of 40 organisations receiving funding, 16 UK-based innovation projects have emerged as winners.

The CLIMATES programme, initiated in February, pledged £15 million in government funding to support cutting-edge research that strengthens the supply of critical materials.

This investment coincides with projections indicating the global market for rare-earth elements could double from $2.5 billion (£2bn) to $5.5 billion (£4.3bn) by 2028, as reported by Fortune Business Insights.

One recipient of funding is Ionic Technologies Ltd, based in Belfast, which specialises in magnet recycling to establish sustainable and traceable rare-earth supply chains.

Another project focuses on sustainable decommissioning and recycling of offshore wind turbines.

It is a collaboration between EMR, HyProMag Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Magnomatics, and The University of Birmingham, addressing the retrieval of Rare Earth Elements used in wind turbine construction as they approach the end of their operational life.

Materials Nexus (MatNex) and Less Common Metals (LCM) have also received investment for a project aiming to reduce the use of heavy rare-earth elements in high-performance permanent magnets, without compromising performance.

The goal is to create more cost-effective, sustainable and less China-dependent magnet materials, enhancing supply chain robustness.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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