Australian exploration company Pensana Rare Earths has listed its Longonjo project in Angola on the London Stock Exchange, representing the U.K.’s first resources-focused IPO since COVID-19.
Located approximately 300 km from Lobito, the Longonjo project holds vast deposits of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), which are used in the manufacturing of large permanent batteries for electric vehicles and wind farms.
The project has attracted $15 million through two rounds of financing, including from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund. Recently raised from $132 million to $200 million due to expansion of the project’s scope, funding for pre-production capital will be targeted by the end of the year.
Pensana holds an 84% stake in the Longonjo project; the Angolan government holds 10% and minority shareholders hold the remaining shares.
The project’s bankable feasibility study will be completed by October, with construction commencing in 2021 and first production of NdPr expected in 2022. Production capacity is estimated at 60,000 tons per year, with the first three years producing 4,600 tons per year.
As global public policy continues to orient itself toward green and sustainable energy practices, the outlook for NdPr minerals is considered strong. In addition, China is increasingly looking to import mineral wealth to meet its growing domestic needs.
“There has been $16 trillion in stimulus efforts around the world, but particularly in Europe, and it has to be a green deal,” said Paul Atherley, Chairman of Pensana Rare Earths. “China has invested $20 billion in Angola since 2008 and now they are saying they need something back for their investment. They haven’t seen a (Angolan) kwanza in return.”