Peak Resources has entered into an option agreement for the long term lease of the land for the proposed Teesside rare earth refinery and separation plant.
Following a Heads of Terms agreed with the UK’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in 2017, Peak Resources has signed a 2-year option for a 250 year lease on a 19 hectare parcel of land in Teesside for a rare earth refinery and separation plant.
The agreement also includes the ability to extend the option for a further 12 months if required.
The site will be home to a rare earth refinery and separation plant designed to process 32 700 tons per year of beneficiated ore from the proposed Ngualla rare earth mine and processing plant in Tanzania.
The refinery will produce high purity rare earths including in particular 2 800 tonnes of mixed Neodymium (Nd) and Praseodymium (Pr) oxide.
Nd and Pr are the core ingredients for permanent magnets used in the high-efficiency electric-motors and generators that are crucial to low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, wind energy, robotics and many others.
The demand for NdPr is projected to grow exponentially as these new technologies grow in response to the global low carbon revolution.
The Teesside plant is a key differentiator between Peak Resources and other rare earth development companies as it is the only current developer who is planning to produce sale-able rare earth oxide products in-house enabling the Peak Resources to sell its products directly to end users and manufacturers.
The plant will also significantly add value to the project as the separated rare earths will command a higher price than a less refined concentrate or a mixed carbonate.
“Peak Resources invested a significant sum of money and time into developing and piloting the leaching and separating of the rare earths for our feasibility study,” comments CEO, Rocky Smith.
“This pilot work, supplemented by extensive first-hand experience of processing rare earths, means that Peak Resources is one of only a handful of companies outside of the current producers to have the required knowledge to produce high purity rare earth oxides.
“As a result we will not be reliant on Chinese or other third party refineries for toll processing our material and thus we will be in a position to maximise the value of our products,” he continues.