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Defense Department Awards California Firm Grant For Rare Earth Element Extraction

The date of: 2020-12-09
viewed: 0

source:StreetInsider.com

The operator of the biggest rare element mines in the Western Hemisphere, MP Materials, was among three firms that received grants from the Department of Defense (DOD) on Nov. 17. These grants are centered on restoring the production of rare earth elements in the United States. The company uplisted on the New York Stock Exchange the day after receiving the grant.

The Defense Production Act Title III grant, worth $9.6 million, was awarded by the Pentagon to the firm so it could start refining critical minerals at its California Mountain Pass mine. In an interview, MP Materials CEO James Litinsky stated that the Department of Defense grant was not only humbling but outstanding and the company was proud of the DOD support.

In the Western Hemisphere, the MP Material’s Mountain Pass mine is the biggest producer of rare earth elements. It makes up 12% of global production of rare earth metals, which are necessary for the production of high-performance magnets.

Earlier this year, outgoing president Donald Trump approved executive order 13817, which aims to break the dominance of China over the elements supply chain while also returning production of rare earth elements to the United States.

The other two firms that received grants awarded by the Pentagon were Texas-based Urban Mining Company, with a funding of $860,000, and California-based Rancho Dominguez TDA Magnetics, which received funding worth $2.3 million. Both firms’ agreements focus on inventory demonstrations and rare earth metal magnet supply.

MP Materials currently transports the 17 elements that are used to develop magnets from its U.S. mine to China for refinement after the elements have been separated. Litinsky stated that the firm’s objective is to remove China from the supply chain with regard to high-end magnet production. This would be accomplished by the company beginning to refine its own raw materials on-site by 2022, which would pave the way for the high-end magnets to be manufactured in the U.S.

Litinsky added that the firm’s mission was to restore the rare earth supply chain fully in the U.S. He also noted that technology related to defense would only make up 1% of the demand in domestic magnet production, which would not be enough to support a domestic industry. Business would originate from the growing demand for emerging technologies such as wind turbines and electronic vehicles.

In Canada, GoldHaven Resources Corp. (CSE: GOH) (OTCQB: GHVNF) has marked itself out as a leading mining company. The company specializes in acquiring, exploring and developing resource-rich properties, such as its recent acquisitions in Chile’s Maricunga Gold Belt.



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