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China Times: UK to Build the Second Largest Rare Earth Refinery Outside China

Major Taiwanese news network China Times recently reported that, the British government stressed the importance of securing the supply chain for rare earth minerals, and is committed to diversifying the supply chain moving it away from market dominators like China. The UK unveiled a new key minerals strategy, and will begin construction of a rare earths refining facility in northern England. Rare-earth elements are used to make magnets to start electric car engines, power windows, and to operate offshore wind turbines and other high-tech devices. China currently accounts for 98 percent of the global supply. Europe and the U.S. have stepped up their efforts to reduce their reliance on China and create safe and independent supply chains for these critical minerals, so as to avoid a repeat of the supply chain crisis. The UK says the Pensana facility will be the second-largest refinery of magnet feedstock outside of China and is expected to begin operations by the end of 2023. The £145 million (approximately US$175 million) facility in Saltend, East Yorkshire, is supported by the government’s Automotive Transformation Fund and is expected to create 126 jobs. With the new strategy, Britain said it would further develop and build the skills base of its local workforce, while supporting domestic production and working with like-minded allies to diversify supply chains.

Source: China Times, July 22, 2022