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Saltend Chemicals Park rare-earth oxide separation facility, UK – update

Image of piles of rare earths

5th November 2021

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Saltend Chemicals Park rare-earth oxide separation facility.

Saltend Chemicals Park, in Humber, Yorkshire, in England, in the UK.

Project Owner/s
Pensana (formerly Pensana Rare Earths).

Project Description
The Saltend Chemicals Park is a cluster of world-class chemicals and renewable-energy businesses, including bp Chemicals, Ineos, Nippon Gohsei and Air Products. It will be the first major rare earths separation facility to be built in more than a decade and the first to be located in a Freeport.

The project study outlines plans to establish the world’s first sustainable rare earths separation facility, which will primarily treat material sourced from the Longonjo mine, in Angola.

The Longonjo mine will treat 1.6-million tonnes a year for 20 years. A target production of about 12 500 t/y of separated rare-earth oxides, including 4 500 t of neodymium and praseodymium, which represent about 5% of the projected world demand for magnet metals in 2025.

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to create 100 direct jobs once it is built and in operation.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Not stated.

Planned Start/End Date
Commissioning and production are due to start in the fourth quarter of 2023 in the UK and Angola.

Latest Developments
Pensana is aiming to establish, subject to funding, a world-class, independent and sustainable supply chain of rare-earth metals vital for electric vehicles (EVs), wind turbines and other strategic industries, African project management and engineering service organisation Paradigm Project Management (PPM) has said.

The organisation acts as the owner’s representative as part of the Pensana project team, PPM director Jeremy Clarke has said.

This covers the integration of the complete project — the Saltend refinery and Longonjo mine — in terms of the front-end engineering and design (FEED), as well as completing the feasibility study and managing the detailed design, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and production ramp-up.

PPM is also responsible for the development of the capital expenditure estimate, the operating cost budget and the project schedule, in collaboration with Wood, and Snowden Mining Industry Consultants.

An interim feasibility study has been completed, with FEED under way. The final feasibility study will be completed in conjunction with the FEED, in December 2021, while detailed design and construction will begin in January 2022.

The feasibility study, based on internationally accepted designs and studies by UK engineering experts Wood, SRK Consulting, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants and PPM, supports a sustainable operation with initial capital expenditure estimated at about $426-million, and competitive yearly operating costs of $22/kg of total rare earths produced.

It is expected that the development of the Longonjo mine will provide about 400 jobs and will, therefore, contribute significantly to the local economy. Pensana is also planning to develop an agricultural programme in liaison with the current land users and local government to ensure local and sustainable food supply to the mine.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Wood Group (FEED) and pxGroup (construction), PPM (owners representative); Wood, and Snowden Mining Industry Consultants (capital expenditure estimate, the operating cost budget and the project schedule).

Contact Details for Project Information
Pensana, email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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