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

27th October 2023 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

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

Artist's impression of the proposed Saltend rare-earth oxide separation facility
Photo by: Pensana

Name of the Project
Saltend rare-earth oxide (REO) separation facility.

Saltend Chemicals Park, in Humber, Yorkshire, in England, in the UK. The  Longonjo operation is located in Angola.

Project Owner/s
Rare earths developer 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.

The Saltend refinery will be the first major rare earths separation facility to be built in more than a decade. Pensana completed a front-end engineering design (FEED) and value engineering study for the rare earth separation hub at the park in May 2022.

The FEED and value engineering study envision production of 12 500 t/y of total REO, including about 4 500 t/y of neodymium and praseodymium oxides, representing about 5% of the world market in 2025.

Initial feedstock will be shipped as a clean, high-purity mixed rare-earth sulphate from the Pensana’s Longonjo mine, in Angola. The opencast mine, state-of-the-art concentrator and proprietary mixed rare-earth sulphate processing plant are being designed by Wood to the highest international standards.

The rare earth processing facility will be the world’s first to be powered by offshore wind.

Potential Job Creation
Pensana’s plug and play facility will create more than 500 jobs during construction and 100 direct jobs once in production

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an estimated after-tax estimated net present value of $3.6-billion and an internal rate of return of 77%, with a payback of 1.3 years.

Capital Expenditure

Planned Start/End Date
Full production is targeted for 2024.

Latest Developments
Pensana has been offered a grant of up to £4-million by the UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade towards the funding required to build an REO separation facility in the Humber Freeport at Saltend.

The offer, made under Section 7 of the Industrial Development Act, follows an application submitted by Pensana to the Automotive Transformation Fund, and is subject to terms set out in a grant funding agreement and conditional upon Pensana’s providing clearance from the relevant authority monitoring State subsidies and a funding, activities and deliverables plan, which is expected to be provided in the coming weeks.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
Wood, SRK Consulting, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants and Paradigm Project Management (FEED and value engineering study); SRK (geotechnical investigations) px Group (construction); PPM (owners representative) Wood (principal and designer and contractor) and Snowden Mining Industry Consultants (capital expenditure estimate, the operating cost budget and the project schedule); ADP Group, part of Lycopodium Group (engineering); ADP and Pro Process (detailed design of the re-engineered Longonjo project); Elecktra (electrical reticulation) and Group Nov (site infrastructure development).

Contact Details for Project Information
Pensana, email