Metalysis said it has successfully produced the rare earth metals neodymium, terbium, and a terbium-nickel based alloy for the first time. Metalysis also claims its process is more energy efficient and less expensive when compared with existing methods for rare earth production. This is because Metalysis produces the metals directly from oxides in a single step.  Producing these metals at reduced cost and with a lower impact on the environment could widen access to these metals and the resulting magnets, the company noted.

The Metalysis process is also capable of making alloys in one step.  It will now work on producing magnetic alloys in larger quantities, such as neodymium-iron-boron.

“Using the Metalysis process to successfully create rare earth metals means we can replicate the success we have achieved in the development of a process for high value metals such as titanium and tantalum,” said Guppy Dhariwal, Metalysis CEO. “The Metalysis process will help develop the new sources of rare earths from countries outside of China by processing them using our new, environmentally benign, lower cost production process.”