Magnet metal and rare earths miner Pensana says it is pleased with critical materials supply chain intelligence company Roskill continually keeping track of the progress at Pensana’s UK-based Saltend rare earths processing facility and the Longonjo rare earths mine, in Angola.
Earlier this month, Roskill published a note which described Pensana’s Saltend separation facility as being an aid to Europe’s goal for a diversified rare earths supply chain.
The Saltend facility is targeted at producing about 12 500 t/y of rare earth oxide, containing 4 500 t/y of neodymium and praseodymium, with the raw material being sourced from the Longonjo project.
Construction and commissioning of the Longonjo project is expected to take 18 months, following the completion of financing.
Roskill said that, while rare earth separation already occurs in Europe, regional demand is set to increase driven by the use of permanent magnet motors in electric vehicles and European automotive original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs’) desire for greater supply security.
As such, Roskill says the use of permanent magnets in renewable energy generation and energy efficient utilities is also expected to incentivise additional supply.
Further, additional separation facilities outside of China will strengthen and diversify Europe’s supply chain of refined rare earth products, though downstream production of rare earth metals/alloys and associated permanent magnets is largely carried out in China, Roskill said.
Pensana has rapidly moved its investment at Saltend through site selection, project approvals and early works in just six months.
“Pensana is tapping into the chemical engineering expertise within the DNA of experts in Humber; partnering with offshore wind OEMs on innovative recycling opportunities; teaming up with government to support the electric vehicle revolution and working with [engineering and consulting company] Wood to create a world-force sustainable source rare earths supply,” says Pensana chairperson Paul Atherley.