Its subsidiary Maginito has taken a 25% stake in HyProMag for £300,000 and has an option to take this up to 49% for a further £1mln.
Maginito has developed a patented method for extracting and demagnetising neodymium iron boron alloy powders from magnets embedded in scrap and redundant equipment.
The process, developed at the University of Birmingham and named HPMS, will be deployed to help blend primary production of rare earth metals from the company’s Songwe Hill operation in Malawi with recycled production from HyProMag.
"We are very pleased to become a substantial shareholder of HyProMag via Maginito and look forward to working with the HyProMag team, supporting the future growth of the company and development of this very exciting technology,” said Mkango chief executive William Dawes.
“We see rare earth magnet recycling as a major growth industry, complementing the development of new sustainable primary production, such as Mkango's advanced stage Songwe Hill rare earths project in Malawi.
"This investment further enhances Mkango's role in developing a robust and sustainable electric vehicle and clean technology supply chain for global markets," he added.
HyProMag’s founding directors include professor emeritus Rex Harris, who first developed the HPMS process; professor Allan Walton, current head of the university’s Magnetic Materials Group; and two honorary Fellows, Dr John Speight and David Kennedy, who are leading world experts in the field of rare earth magnetic materials, alloys and hydrogen technology, and have significant industry experience.
Magnito, while majority-owned by Mkango, has a 24.5% shareholder called Talaxis, which is a unit of the Hong Kong commodity trading giant Noble Group.