Angolan sovereign wealth fund satisfied with Longonjo construction progress

15th January 2024 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Angolan sovereign wealth fund satisfied with Longonjo construction progress

Chairperson Armando Manuel and FSDEA board members review progress on site with CCO William Izod and Longonjo team members

Angolan sovereign wealth fund Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA) is “delighted to see the excellent progress” that is being achieved on site at the Longonjo rare earths project, as this is an important project for the entity, FSDEA chairperson Armando Manuel has said.

On January 10, London-listed Pensana Rare Earths and its local subsidiary Ozango Minerais welcomed the full board of FSDEA to Longonjo for a site inspection. The six members of the board were accompanied by the head of investment and key analysts of the FSDEA.  

Pensana holds an 84% interest in Longonjo through its 84% holding in Angola-registered company Ozango Minerais, which, in turn, owns 100% of the mining licence.

The purpose of the visit was to review the early-stage construction activities being funded by the $15-million bridging loan from the FSDEA, ahead of conclusion of the main financing.

“[The] FSDEA has financed the acceleration of construction activities to ensure the project maintains momentum while we work with the lender consortium to conclude the main finance,” Manuel explained. 

He was keen to understand where the FSDEA can assist in the rollout of the next phase of key activities on site. 

The board advised that it was satisfied with the activities completed to date, namely the deployment of capital for the civil works for the camp, the rehabilitation of the access road to the Longonjo railway station and the agricultural demonstration plots under the Livelihood Restoration Programme.

The board also visited the overhead powerlines, which together with an underground water supply and effluent disposal system, have been installed ahead of the arrival of the 350-person modular camp currently being assembled in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The visit was part of a larger review of projects along the important Benguela railway line connecting Longonjo to the Port of Lobito, known as the Lobito Corridor. This infrastructure is considered to be a key enabler and of core benefit to the Longonjo project.

“We are grateful for the ongoing financial and other support from the FSDEA for what is going to be a very important project in terms of high-value, long-term jobs.

“We are making good progress on site. Over the past few months, the site team has transitioned to a high-performance delivery role and is busy preparing for the main construction activities. We are in good shape to commence construction activities as soon as the financing is completed,” says Pensana CEO Tim George.