Pensana updates on site development at Saltend Chemicals Park

Pensana Plc (LON:PRE) has provided an investor update following a recent Board Meeting held at the Saltend Chemicals Park in Humber Freeport, Northern England.

Pensana’s US$125 million plant will be the first major rare earth separation facility to be built in over a decade and the first to be located in a Freeport. It will become an important hub in establishing an independent magnet metal supply chain for the UK and beyond, creating over 100 high value direct jobs and over 500 jobs during construction.

Site developments under way at Saltend and Longonjo

At the Saltend project in Humber, UK:

  • Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is advancing per schedule and expected to be complete in October. Thereafter EPCM contracts are expected to be awarded.
  • Pensana has entered into a 25-year lease agreement with pxGroup and Associated British Ports (ABP) for the initial nine-hectare Saltend site with scope for expansion.
  • Geotechnical drilling and trenching works have commenced. These will confirm input data for the completion of foundation design for the processing plant buildings and infrastructure.
  • Wood, the international engineering group, is working with pxGroup to optimise jetty to site reagent and material handling arrangements along with the provision of ‘plug and play’ power, water, steam and fuel supplies.
  • Pensana is also in discussions with Freeport stakeholders from pxGroup, ABP and KPMG to finalise government submissions to clarify of the benefits and incentives applicable to the Freeport enterprise zone tax and customs zone for the Saltend Chemicals Park.

At the Longonjo project in Angola:

  • Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is again advancing per schedule and expected to be complete in October with EPCM contracts awarded thereafter.
  • The Lidar survey for the complete site (inclusive of surrounding bulk service infrastructure and the transmission line providing connection to hydro-electric power) has now been completed along with hydrological studies of water supply and 100 year floodline assessments.  
  • Detailed geotechnical investigation, under the supervision of global specialists SRK, has been mobilized. It will confirm final plant and infrastructure foundation design, tailings storage facility and pit stability criteria which have been based on previous broader area campaigns.

ATF Funding

The Company’s expression of interest in the UK Government’s up to £1bn Automotive Transformation Fund (“ATF”) has been received positively by the programme board. The application for grant or other forms of financial support is currently under government review.

The Company does not have any indication on the timing of any potential award, however it will advise shareholders as soon as advice is received.

Bond Financing for the Saltend rare earth separating facility in Humber, UK

Pensana has engaged ABG Sundal Collier (ABGSC), a leading Nordic investment bank headquartered in Oslo, Norway, to progress the debt financing.

ABGSC is a premier investment bank in the Nordic market with an extensive track record in the Nordic high yield market and broad natural resources sector expertise and debt structuring. The transaction will be supported by ABGSC’s top ranked credit research team, delivering unique investor education and credit story marketing.

With broad natural resources sector expertise, capital markets and debt structuring experience alongside extensive capabilities in negotiating intercreditor terms with government agencies, ABGSC is well placed to assist in the execution of the proposed bond issuance. 

The envisaged senior debt facilities under discussion comprise a senior secured first lien facility amount of up to US$250 million over a five-year term.

ABGSC will be initiating their detailed due diligence review shortly and will look to be in a position to target a bond issuance during Q4 2021 once FEED and site preparation is complete.

Offtake and Marketing Agreements

Discussions have commenced with a number of prospective offtake partners with a view to securing offtake and/or marketing agreements to support the main financing. To date non-disclosure agreements have been executed with three interested parties and discussions have been initiated with several more.

Investor Webinar

Pensana will hold an investor webinar at 08:00 UK on Wednesday 8 September. Investors may register and submit questions ahead of the webinar using this link:

Chairman Paul Atherley commented “We continue to work closely with the UK Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund on support for the world-class Saltend rare earth processing hub which will create over 500 jobs during construction and over 100 high value permanent jobs once in operation.

Saltend will be the first major rare earth separation facility to be developed in over a decade and will be the first to be located in a Freeport. The facility will process feedstock from the Company’s Longonjo project and from other sources around the world, producing the mag

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