Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 16

FEATURE ARTICLE

Thyssenkrupp to Buy Rare Earths from Northern Minerals in Australia While
Helping to Expand the Operation; Key Separation Testing by K-Tech
of rare earths outside China, so we are really looking forward
to a successful collaboration between the companies. As the
exclusive marketer of these high-quality products we have the
opportunity to strengthen our customer relationships long-term
and expand our positioning in this field." Thyssenkrupp Materials Services, the holding company of thyssenkrupp Materials
Trading, is the biggest materials distributor and service provider
in the western world with around 480 locations including 271
warehouse sites in over 40 countries.

Production facility at Northern Minerals
Northern Minerals Ltd, one of the few producers of rare earth
minerals outside China, and steel company Thyssenkrupp have
made an offtake agreement whereby Thyssenkrupp will purchase 100% of the output from Northern's Browns Range Pilot
Plant in northern Australia. The companies are also pledging to
work together to expand the operations at the project.

Through the development of its flagship project, Northern Minerals aims to build its Western Australian operation into the first
significant world producer of dysprosium outside of China, said
Bauk. The project is fully owned by Northern Minerals and has
several deposits and prospects containing high value dysprosium
and other heavy rare earths. Dysprosium is an essential ingredient in the production of DyNdFeB (dysprosium neodymium
iron-boron) magnets.

A key project that Northern Minerals is working on is to develop
new technology for onsite separation that would further distance
its capabilities from the predominance of China in the supply
chain. A set of tests on its processed material is being performed
by K-Technologies in the U.S. Meanwhile, buoyed by recent
promising results, the company is continuing new exploration
drilling at its property.
The agreement with Thyssenkrupp Materials Trading Gmbh covers the purchase of all heavy rare earth carbonate from the pilot
plant project, with the flexibility for Northern Minerals to supply
heavy rare earths as separated products in the future. It includes
all stockpiled product and future production. It replaces an earlier
deal with with Lianyugang Zeyu New Materials Sales Co Ltd,
which has been terminated, said Northern Minerals.
"The new offtake agreement with a global
player such as thyssenkrupp is a significant
endorsement of Browns Range and our company," said George Bauk, managing director
and CEO of Northern Minerals which is based
in West Perth. "The continued shift of new
car sales to electric vehicles is gaining traction, with all major carmakers introducing EV
variants of existing models over the coming
years. With this shift, both car and component
makers are accelerating plans to invest
further down the production chain in order
George Bauk, CEO of to secure surety of supply."
Northern Minerals
"Importantly for Northern Minerals," noted
Bauk in August when the deal was struck, "the new agreement
doesn't include any price caps, giving the company full exposure
to increasing Dysprosium and Terbium prices, which are up 60%
and 35% respectively over the year to date."
Wolfgang Schnittker, CEO of Thyssenkrupp Materials Trading, commented, "Northern Minerals is one of the few suppliers

16

Magnetics Business & Technology * January/February 2020

A new round of exploration drilling began at the property in September
Meanwhile, the company is proceeding with further exploration
drilling and testing its separation technology. A new round of
further exploration drilling, shown in the accompanying photo,
began in September.
Shortly after the thyssenkrupp deal was struck, Northern Minerals announced that it has retained USA-based K-Technologies,
Inc. to conduct testing of material processed through the
separation technology it has developed. If adopted, it would allow Northern Minerals to produce separated rare earth oxides,
including dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide for sale directly to
permanent magnet makers globally, rather than a mixed heavy
rare earth carbonate that currently requires separation in China.
For the "scoping study", Northern Minerals is sending intermediate mixed rare material to K-Tech's laboratory in Florida for
bench scale separation and purification test work. It will look at
the yield potential of targeted rare earth elements and include an
estimate of associated operating and capital costs, said Bauk.
K-Tech was selected, he explained, for its capabilities including
process technology, know-how and development for the minerals
and chemicals industries. K-Tech has focused on various separation processes involving continuous ion exchange, continuous
ion-chromatography and related advanced separation methodologies as they apply to a variety of chemical and environ-

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Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020

Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020
Contents
Editor’s Choice/ Features
Revolutionary Ferrite-Magnet Fault Current Limiter Graduates from Testing and Heads to Market
Continental Transforms Powertrain Division into Vitesco Technologies in Response to High-Growth Momentum to Electrification
Urban Mining Progresses in Pioneering Effort to Scale Up Rare-Earth Magnet Production from Recycled Magnets
Research & Development
Product News
Industry News
Marketplace/ Advertising Index
How Hall Effect Switches Enable Autonomous Vehicles
Tech Tips
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Contents
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Editor’s Choice/ Features
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 5
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Revolutionary Ferrite-Magnet Fault Current Limiter Graduates from Testing and Heads to Market
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 7
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 8
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 9
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Continental Transforms Powertrain Division into Vitesco Technologies in Response to High-Growth Momentum to Electrification
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 11
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 12
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 13
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Urban Mining Progresses in Pioneering Effort to Scale Up Rare-Earth Magnet Production from Recycled Magnets
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 15
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 16
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 17
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Research & Development
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 19
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Product News
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 21
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 22
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 23
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Industry News
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 25
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 26
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 27
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Marketplace/ Advertising Index
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - 29
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Tech Tips
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Magnetics Business & Technology - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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