London-listed Pensana has advised that front-end engineering design (FEED) work at the Saltend Chemicals Park, in Humber Freeport, England, is advancing on schedule for completion in October.
The company will thereafter award engineering, procurement and construction management contracts.
Pensana has entered into a 25-year lease agreement with pxGroup and Associated British Ports for the initial 9 ha Saltend site, with scope for expansion.
International engineering group Wood is working with pxGroup to optimise jetty to site reagent and material handling arrangements along with the provision of power, water, steam and fuel supplies.
Pensana’s $125-million plant will be the first major rare earth separation facility to be built in more than ten years and will be the first to be located in a freeport.
The plant will become instrumental in establishing an independent magnet metal supply chain in the UK.
The company has also started with geotechnical and trenching works, which will confirm data for the completion of foundation design for the processing plant buildings and infrastructure.
Pensana is in discussions with freeport stakeholders from pxGroup, ABP and KPMG to finalise government submissions to clarify the benefits and incentives applicable to the freeport enterprise zone tax and customs zone for the Saltend Chemicals Park.
Meanwhile, Pensana is also progressing the FEED at its Angola-based Longonjo rare earths project, which will be completed in October.
The company has detailed geotechnical investigations under way, with the help of consultancy SRK, which will confirm final plant and infrastructure foundation design, as well as tailings storage facility design criteria.