Pensana Plc has this morning provided an update following a recent Board Meeting at the Saltend Chemicals Park in Humber Freeport, Northern England.
The Company’s US$125 million Saltend 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.
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.
Pensana has engaged ABG Sundal Collier (ABGSC), a leading Nordic investment bank headquartered in Oslo, Norway, to progress the debt financing. 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.
Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is advancing per schedule and expected to be complete in October for both Saltend and Pensana’s Longonjo mine in Angola.
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.
Pensana will hold an investor webinar on 8th September at 8:00 UK time. You can click here to register
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 magnet metal oxides critical for the EV and offshore wind turbine supply chains.”