MP Materials receives $58.5M to boost US rare earth magnet production

April 10, 2024

MP Materials Corp has received a $58.5 million award to advance its construction of a rare earth magnet manufacturing facility (Courtesy MP Materials Corp)
MP Materials Corp has received a $58.5 million award to advance its construction of a rare earth magnet manufacturing facility (Courtesy MP Materials Corp)

MP Materials Corp, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, has received a $58.5 million award to advance its construction of a rare earth magnet manufacturing facility. The Section 48C Advanced Energy Project tax credit allocation was issued by the IRS and Treasury following a competitive, oversubscribed process administered by the Department of Energy that evaluated the technical and commercial viability and environmental and community impact of approximately 250 projects.

Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets are an indispensable component found in the electric motors and generators that power hybrid and electric vehicles, robots, wind turbines, drones, electronics, and critical defence systems. Global demand is expected to triple by 2035.

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MP Materials began constructing its Fort Worth, Texas, manufacturing facility in April 2022. The company is currently producing magnet precursor materials in a North American pilot facility. It expects to commence commercial production of precursor materials in Forth Worth this summer and finished magnets by late 2025. MP will reportedly supply these products to General Motors, its foundational customer, to support its North American EV production.

MP will source the factory’s raw material inputs from Mountain Pass, California, where MP owns and operates what it claims to be America’s only scaled and operational rare earth mine and separations facility. At the factory, NdPr oxide produced at Mountain Pass will be reduced to NdPr metal and converted to NdFeB alloy and finished magnets, delivering an end-to-end supply chain with integrated recycling and sustainability.

According to a Section 232 investigation completed by the Department of Commerce in 2022, sintered NdFeB magnets are “required for critical infrastructure” and “irreplaceable in key defence applications,” yet the US is “essentially one hundred percent dependent on imports,” posing a serious national security risk. More than 90% of the world’s NdFeB magnets are currently produced in China.

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