The rare earth processing facility is being explored by Pensana after progressing the design of the Longonjo project


Rare-earth oxides. (Credit: Peggy Greb, US Department of Agriculture/Wikipedia.)

Australian exploration company Pensana Rare Earths has selected John Wood Group to study the potential to establish a rare earth oxide production facility in the UK.

The rare earth processing facility is being explored by the company after progressing the design of the Longonjo project in Angola to produce mixed rare earth metal carbonate.

Upon recent resource upgrade, the Longonjo project is now claimed to be one of the world’s largest known rare earth resources.

The project has received Presidential approval and is being financed by the Angolan Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Pensana stated: “The project is being developed to international standards, has established infrastructure, including the capacity to be entirely powered by hydro-electricity, making Longonjo one of the world’s most sustainable rare earth producers.”

Longonjo project and UK processing facility could produce enough rare earth oxide for Dogger Bank wind turbines

The project along with the processing facility in the UK are estimated to have a capacity to produce enough rare earth metal oxides to supply the wind turbines at Dogger Bank, which is expected to be the world’s biggest wind farm.

The wind farm is situated 130km off the Yorkshire coast and will feature an array of 260 metre high Haliades X 13MW turbines, each requires more than 7 tonnes of permanent magnets.

Pensana Rare Earths chairman Paul Atherley said: “The UK and the EU lead the world in the Offshore Wind and EV industries, both of which are dependent on permanent magnets.

“Both have recognized that the green recovery requires critical raw materials and that a sustainable magnet metalsupply chain is needed to support the green economy.”

The study to be undertaken by Wood Group is estimated to take nearly three months to complete.

It will consider the processing route, preferred location, capital and operating costs, financing opportunities and government incentives for the project.

In July this year, Pensana Rare Earths and China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) have signed a heads of agreement for the Longonjo rare earths project.