UK-listed Pensana launched on Tuesday a blueprint for rare earths, committing to achieving a net-zero supply chain by no later than 2040, Kallanish reports.

The company aims to produce the lowest embedded carbon products in the rare earth industry. To establish a climate-neutral supply chain, it’s securing offshore wind power to run its planned rare earth refinery in Hull, northeast England. A 10-year contract will ensure “low cost and low carbon” hydroelectric power to run its Longonjo operations in Angola.

Feedstock will be shipped as high purity mixed rare earth sulphate (MRES). The concentrator at Longonjo and proprietary MRES processing plant designed by Wood meets the highest international standards, Pensana says. Additional measures include an agreement with Equinor to use low carbon hydrogen to recycle the seven tonnes of permanent magnets in each offshore wind turbine installed in the Dogger Bank windfarm.

“The Pensana Blueprint for Sustainable Rare Earths is an important document as it clearly sets out our commitment to all stakeholders and importantly to our customers that we put the highest ESG standards at the heart of our operations,” comments chairman Paul Atherley.

He adds that sustainability “is always going to be work in progress” but the blueprint “provides a clear pathway to embedding ESG into every decision, at every stage and using independent experts to monitor our progress.”

The Saltend facility is set to produce 12,500 tonnes/year of rare earth products, including 4,500 t/y of neodymium and praseodymium oxides. That’s about 5% of the global production in 2025, Pensana estimates.

In addition to Chinese supply likely not meeting European and US ESG standards, Pensana sees other future supply/demand issues.

“China supplies over 90% of magnets and has made it clear that it is going to need all its production for its own $11 trillion 2060 carbon-neutral plan and, on top of this, feels that it is under no obligation to supply them to the rest of the world,” Pensana notes.