Peak Resources is to create jobs with the construction of a rare earth refinery within the Teesside designated Freeport area.
The business is exercising an option for a 250-year lease from Homes England over a parcel of land within the Wilton International site.
Construction and development of the Teesside Refinery is expected to cost approximately $160m and create about 130 jobs.
Development of the refinery was said to represent a key milestone for rare earth development in the UK.
Peak intends to construct its Teesside Refinery on the site to receive high-grade rare earth concentrate from its planned Ngualla Rare Earth Project in Tanzania, which will produce Neodymium Praseodymium Oxide (“NdPr Oxide”) and other separated rare earth products that are critical for electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies.
Bardin Davis, managing director of Peak, said: "The Teesside location provides a major competitive advantage with its "plug and play" infrastructure, skilled labour force and proximity to potential customers, while its Freeport status provides tangible tax and other benefits.
"Our refinery is also poised to make the UK a major supplier of NdPr Oxide, supporting its transition towards a net-zero carbon economy and the development of its cleantech supply chains."
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen added: "Just two months after securing the UK’s biggest Freeport, we now have our second major investment in the Teesside Freeport, bringing with it more good quality, well paid jobs for local workers.
"We’ve been working with Peak Resources for three years to bring them to Teesside, so I am thrilled they have agreed to make Wilton International their new home.
"This puts them at the centre of our world beating chemicals and processing sectors.
"The fact that this global company has chosen Teesside following a global search across 24 counties is testament to the fantastic skills of local workers."