Tees

Teesside chosen as site for £70m mineral refinery

Wilton, Teesside
Image caption The Wilton International complex is already home to several major chemical firms

An Australian firm has unveiled plans for a £70m mineral refinery on Teesside which would create up to 100 jobs.

Perth-based Peak Resources said a site on the Wilton complex, near Redcar, had been earmarked for the development.

The refinery would process minerals for use in a range of products including mobile phones, wind turbines and automotive parts.

The company said the devaluation of sterling since the EU referendum had made the project more cost-effective.

The Wilton site is already home to several major chemical companies.

Image copyright Peak Resources
Image caption Peak Resources operates mining facilities in Tanzania

If the proposals are approved by planners, production could start in 2019, the company said.

Managing director Darren Townsend said: "The choice of Tees Valley as the location for the refinery was compelling.

"Whilst the long-term impact of Brexit is not yet fully understood, the devaluation of the pound is expected to improve operating costs and the UK's progressive stance on maintaining competitive corporate fiscal regimes post Brexit are both positives."

Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority member, said: "It is great that our area has been recognised as a preferred location by a company from the other side of the world, signalling a very clear indication of our global reputation for successful manufacturing."

Peak Resources currently mines and processes neodymium and praseodymium - two soft metals, found mainly in Tanzania.

Both are already used in the manufacture of components for electric cars and bikes, and wind turbines.

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