The main objective of the project LIFE RECYMAGNET is to construct a demonstrative pilot plant with a treatment capacity of 75 HDD/h which will be capable to recycle NdFeB magnets from discarded HDDs to obtain recycled NdFeB powder, and subsequently, to achieve recycled NdFeB magnets with the required properties to be used in many diverse applications, such as electronic devices.

Currently, Directive 2012/19/UE, regulates at European level everything about electric and electronic wastes. The European Parliament, through the cited Directive, requires the collection of 45 tons of electronic wastes per 100 tonnes put into the market by 2016, percentage that should be increased up to 65% by 2019 or 85% of the wastes generated within the European Union.

On the other hand, the European Commission sent a communicate on the 2nd of February of 2011, highlighting the importance of raw materials and the risk of excessive price’s volatility that increase inflation and distort world markets. In this report, which offered for the first time a joint vision of access to mineral raw materials in the EU, 14 raw materials are listed as fundamental, within which RE are included.

The development of the present project will directly contribute to those European directives and policies by the implementation of a recycling line for NIB magnets from discarded HDDs. On the one hand, it will contribute to increase electronic wastes recycling in Europe and, on the other hand, to obtain recycled NIB powder for permanent magnets production, being a secondary source of that raw material whose environmental impact is, moreover, considerably lower than the one caused by its primary extraction.

LIFE RECYMAGNET project, with agreement number LIFE13 ENV/ES/000703, has a budget of 1.426.007 € and the European Commission's contribution amount adds up to 688.753 €. The project started in September 2014 and ends in May 2016.