Home » Pensana’s $200 Million Redesign Paves the Way for Green Energy Project

Pensana’s $200 Million Redesign Paves the Way for Green Energy Project

by Victor Adetimilehin

Pensana, a leading player in the rare earth minerals industry, has taken a significant step forward in securing funding for its Longonjo and Saltend projects. The company recently completed a modular redesign of its Longonjo mine and processing facility with a capital expenditure of $200 million. This development positions Pensana as a key player in the green energy sector and has garnered interest from various stakeholders.


The redesign of the Longonjo processing facility was led by Project Manager Kevin Botha, in collaboration with a team of expert contractors, including ADP (a part of the Lycopodium group), ProProcess (a hydrometallurgical specialist), and mining consultant Practara. South African mining consultants, The Mineral Corporation, are currently conducting a technical and economic review of the redesign on behalf of ABSA Bank, with results expected by November.


ABSA Bank has been designated as the lead arranger for a $120 million loan facility to support the Longonjo project. ABSA’s involvement is significant as it aims to expand its interests in the green energy sector, and it has drafted high-level commercial debt terms with South African export credit agency support.


Pensana is working closely with the Angola Sovereign Wealth Fund (FSDEA) to secure the necessary $80 million equity investment required to complement the debt facility. FSDEA has already provided a $15 million bridging loan facility to support early-stage development and the path to full financing.


Pensana intends to fully fund the Longonjo project at the subsidiary level, Ozango Minerais (84% Pensana), which holds a 100% stake in the Longonjo project. The equity investment is expected to reduce Pensana’s holding in Ozango Minerais from 84% to approximately 64% at a read-through valuation of 66 pence per share at the Pensana level.


In addition to securing funding, Pensana is also actively engaged in advanced discussions with multiple parties for the offtake of its highly marketable, radionuclide-free mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) product. The company is optimistic about signing agreements for up to 100% of the MREC production from the Longonjo Processing facility.


Meanwhile, the funding arrangements for Pensana’s Saltend rare earth separation facility remain on track, with ABG Sundal Collier set to place a bond for approximately $150 million. The company is also in early discussions with the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) and other potential equity partners to secure the remaining $100 million needed. The UK Government has provided a grant of up to £4,000,000 to support this effort.


Paul Atherley, Pensana Chairman, expressed his enthusiasm for the progress made, highlighting the importance of the engineering redesign and the ongoing support from FSDEA in securing the necessary financing. He also emphasized the strong interest in Pensana’s radionuclide-free MREC product and the positive outlook for the Saltend project.


Pensana’s commitment to green energy and its efforts to secure funding for its projects underscore its dedication to advancing sustainable solutions in the rare earth minerals industry.


Source: [Mining Weekly]


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