A new “highly prospective” rare earth mining project has opened up in Angola, according to Australian miner Pensana Metals, which has the Angolan Sovereign Wealth Fund as a shareholder. Angola’s president recently approved a 35-year mining investment contract for the exploitation of the Longonjo rare earth project, the country´s first of its type, which aims to become a major global supplier of the magnet metals.
According to a release by Pensana, the company has been granted the 7,456 square kilometre Coola Rare Earth Project “which is highly prospective for NdPr mineralisation and lies sixteen kilometres to the north of Longonjo”, its first project in the country.
According to the company´s Chief Operating Officer, Dave Hammond, the Coola and Monte Verde “carbonatite complexes are of similar size to Longonjo and have been identified as being rich in NdPr mineralisation”, with another “five additional alkaline intrusive complexes and five strong geophysical anomalies”.
“Collectively these represent an immediate and wide range of very well defined ‘walk – up’ exploration targets, highly prospective for NdPr and other rare earths. Our plan is to capture the high potential brownfield opportunities within trucking distance of the proposed treatment plant which have the potential to increase overall production”, adds Hammond.
Chinese players accounted in 2019 for 85% of the global production of high-purity rare-earth elements; Lynas mine, in Australia, produces the remaining 15%. The United States have been trying to gain a foothold in rare earths processing.