A PLANNING APPLICATION to build the UK’s first rare earth materials processing facility at Saltend Chemicals Park has been approved.
The processing facility operated by PENSANA Rare Earths PLC is expected to produce 4,500 tonnes of Rare Earth Oxides and will be the world’s first magnet processing factory. According to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning officer’s report, Europe’s expected shortfall in rare earths is expected to be 65,000 tonnes by 2030.
In conjunction with other companies, the facility will contribute towards the production and supply of magnet metals critical to electrical vehicle and wind turbine equipment manufacturers. Furthermore, the recycling of end-of-life magnets from wind turbines and electrical vehicles will offer the potential of creating a circular economy designed to keep products and materials in use.
The planning officer’s report states: “The production of rare earth oxides is vital for decarbonisation as they are a critical element in battery technology and wind turbines in line with both Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Councils’ aspirations for Green Port Hull.”
Over 100 jobs will be created processing high-value rare earth sulphates mined from a mine in Angola.
The Application has been approved subject to 15 planning conditions which cover issues such as traffic management during construction and operation, flood risk and environmental concerns.
Pensana have produced a public presentation about their plans at: https://pensana.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PensanaPlc_April_2021.pdf