Angolan rare earth project construction progressing

An aerial view of load haul dump trucks carrying sand and rubble from the construction site of Pensana's Longonjo Mine in Angola

IN FOR THE LONG HAUL The construction at Pensana's Longonjo project in Angola will take the mine through to a projected life of 20 years

24th November 2023


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Magnet metals miner Pensana, continuing with the site development works for its rare-earth elements Longonjo project, in Angola, reported towards the end of August that it was progressing with site infrastructure development underway, in preparation for main construction.

Being largely unaffected by its revised development strategy, which was announced in June, Pensana reported that the Longonjo site development included earthworks, which were being undertaken by Portuguese construction and related services group Group Nov, while electrical reticulation was being conducted by Angolan electrical project house Elecktra.

Pensana was also undertaking water and sewerage services in preparation for the mining camp construction.

At the time, the miner also noted that consultancy SRK was making good progress on the geotechnical investigations in support of Longonjo’s dual purpose tailings storage facility’s (TSF’s) detailed design.

The selected TSF site was confirmed as providing suitable excavated material for use in the TSF starter walls, pit haul roads, plant terracing and other construction-related requirements, thus mitigating visual impact and the need to develop borrow-pit sources and associated licensing and material transport costs.

Further, Pensana also noted that it was continuing with the integration of the Longonjo project’s bulk reagent consumption requirements, for sulphur and caustic soda, using commodities supplier Trafigura- and multi-disciplinary construction and related services firm Mota Engil-led port and rail concessions for the strategic mineral-focussed Lobito Corridor, as part of the ongoing operation-readiness preparations of the Longonjo project.

In this regard, Pensana reported that logistical and operational expenditure benefits were obvious in terms of broader reagent supply to the existing Democratic Republic of Congo Copperbelt mines, alongside limestone, which will be sourced from the existing quarries in the Lobito area of Angola.

Engineering Developments

In line with its mid-year revised financing and development strategy, Pensana reported that the revised process plant design for the Longonjo project was based on a scaled-down version of the existing processing route with revised mining, comminution, flotation, thickening, calcining, leaching and product precipitation throughput rates.

The revised financing and development strategy will see Longonjo fully funded into production on a staged basis, with the upfront capital expenditure reduced to $200-million.


Pensana CEO Tim George says the project team is on schedule with the stage 1 re-engineering to the $200-million capital expenditure design work and is also well advanced on the financial due diligence for the main financing later this year.

Edited by Donna Slater
Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer



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