MP Materials Awarded Department of Defense Heavy Rare Earth Processing Contract
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- MP Materials Corp. (NYSE: MP) today announced it has been awarded a $35 million contract through the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program to support the construction of a commercial scale processing facility for heavy rare earth elements (HREE) at Mountain Pass.
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HREEs have higher atomic weights and are generally less abundant than light rare earth elements (LREEs). They are essential inputs to many critical defense and commercial technologies, particularly permanent magnets instrumental to the performance of electric vehicles, wind turbines, drones, and missile systems.
In a separate contract awarded in December 2020, the DoD committed $9.6 million to MP Materials’ Stage II optimization, a project underway to restore LREE processing capabilities to Mountain Pass. The ability to process HREEs alongside LREEs will enable MP Materials to extract and refine all rare earths required to manufacture high-performance permanent magnets. It will also enable the company to recycle all recoverable rare earths from end-of-life magnets and magnet production scrap, increasing the resiliency and environmental sustainability of the domestic supply base.
“The ability to mine, process, and refine rare earths at Mountain Pass is foundational to a national effort to secure the U.S. rare earth supply chain,” said MP Materials Chairman and CEO, James Litinsky. “We thank the Department of Defense for its confidence and support.”
In addition to its mining and processing operation at Mountain Pass, MP Materials is developing a rare earth metal, alloy and magnet manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Materials sourced from Mountain Pass will be transformed into manufactured products at this new facility, restoring a wholly domestic and vertically integrated U.S. magnetics supply chain. In December 2021, MP Materials entered into a long-term agreement with General Motors to supply U.S.-sourced and manufactured rare earth materials, alloy, and finished magnets for the electric motors used in the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac LYRIQ, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and more than a dozen models using GM’s Ultium Platform.
“The U.S. needs to continue to push the scientific envelope to develop secure, reliable, and affordable domestic source critical minerals used in defense and commercial manufacturing in order to reduce its dependence on foreign sources in a time of global economic competition,” said Deborah Rosenblum who is performing the duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy.
To meet growing magnetics demand and promote supply chain resiliency, MP Materials’ processing facilities at Mountain Pass will accept qualified third-party feedstock and end-of-life magnets, in addition to processing the ore extracted from and beneficiated at Mountain Pass.
MP Materials’ operations provide certainty of U.S. provenance and sustainability. Mountain Pass is a closed loop, zero-discharge rare earth production facility with a dry tailings process that recycles more than one billion liters of water per year.
MP Materials Corp. (NYSE: MP) is the largest producer of rare earth materials in the Western Hemisphere. The Company owns and operates the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine and Processing Facility in California, North America’s only active and scaled rare earth production site. Separated rare earth elements are critical inputs to the world’s most powerful and efficient magnets found in electric vehicles, drones, defense systems, wind turbines and various advanced technologies. The Company is developing U.S. metal, alloy and magnet manufacturing capacity to build these critical components domestically. More information is available at https://mpmaterials.com/.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain statements that are not historical facts and are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of the words such as “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “will,” “target,” or similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Department of Defense Heavy Rare Earth Processing Agreement, and the construction of a facility to process and refine heavy rare earth elements (“HREE”) at Mountain Pass, including the timing for completion of the construction and associated costs and expenses. Such statements are all subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that could significantly affect the Company’s future financial results and business.
Accordingly, the Company cautions that the forward-looking statements contained herein are qualified by important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected by such statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the ability of the Company to successfully construct a facility to process and refine HREEs and the timing for construction of a HREE facility, which may be delayed, and related costs and expenses, which may be increased beyond our current estimates; changes in domestic and foreign business, market, financial, political and legal conditions; risks related to the Company’s long-term agreement with General Motors, including that this long-term agreement is subject to the Company and General Motors entering into a definitive Supply Agreement that includes all terms and conditions, which may or may not occur; the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, including the Delta variant, Omicron variant and other variants, on any of the foregoing risks; and those factors discussed in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended March 31, 2021, June 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021, under the heading “Risk Factors,” and other documents to be filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statements except as required by law. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release may not occur.
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