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    We are extremely pleased to announce Less Common Metals has been awarded funding to conduct a feasibility study to identify the requirements for a fully integrated supply chain for Rare Earth Permanent Magnet production in the UK.

    The funding has been awarded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas.

    Rare earth-based permanent magnets are the most powerful magnets commercially available and find use in many key applications such as electric vehicles, wind power, low energy pumps and chemical couplings. The rare earths required for such magnets are critical materials and the current overdependence on China for supply gives huge strategic vulnerabilities.

    The project will allow LCM to evaluate raw material sources, production of concentrates and separation into individual rare earths, prior to processing into metals onsite, and then alloys for supply to a magnet production facility.

    Ian Higgins, Managing Director of Less Common Metals said: "LCM is proud and privileged to have been approved by the UK Government to carry out this feasibility study. Our company is already active in the rare earth permanent magnet industry as the only commercial western-world producer of metals and alloys for such magnets.

    “In addition, we have extensive knowledge of both upstream processing of rare earths and of the downstream magnet industry. These factors make us ideally placed to carry out this study.”