Rare earth, a crucial component for both the electric vehicle and offshore wind industry, is traditionally made in China but Pensana has plans to process the element in East Yorkshire in a move which will create 100 jobs and establish the first such facility in Europe and only one of three outside China.
Pensana has a target of producing circa 12,500 annualised tonnes of rare earth oxides, including 4,500 tonnes of magnet metal rare earth oxides, which would represent approximately 5 per cent of 2025 projected world demand.
The rare earth sulphates would be imported from the company’s state-of-the-art Longonjo mine in Angola and, owing to the Humber having been designated as having freeport status, Pensana claims the Saltend facility has the potential to bring high value manufacturing jobs back to the UK and, through Pensana’s plans and could become one of the world’s largest rare earth processing hubs, importing sustainably, globally sourced feedstock and processing it into valuable oxide and metal products for consumption by European OEMs and beyond.
Pensana’s Chairman, Paul Atherley said: “Saltend will initially seek to source high purity feedstock from the company’s Longonjo mine and will look to take advantage of the recently granted Humber Freeport status to create a high value processing hub in the UK.
“The global rare earth market, driven by demand from industries including electric vehicles and offshore wind, is expected to increase five-fold by 2030 and the NdPr oxide price is forecast to increase at a CAGR of 4.8 - 9.9%, underpinning strong economics for the investment.”