Las Vegas-based MP Materials announced Thursday that it broke ground on a 200,000-square-foot rare earth magnetics manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas — part of the firm’s larger plan to invest $700 million over the next two years into creating a full rare earth supply chain.
The facility will also help to supply General Motors with alloy and magnets for more than a dozen of its EV models, starting late next year.
MP Materials operates the Mountain Pass Mine, located 15 miles west of Primm in California’s Mojave Desert. The mine is considered the world’s second-largest producer of rare earth minerals.
Rare earth metals have a variety of uses with the most important being in magnets, used in electric vehicles and generators in wind turbines, according to Simon Jowitt, a UNLV sssistant professor of economic geology.
The Texas project is estimated to create 150 high-skilled jobs, according to a news release. The manufacturing facility will be able to produce about 1,000 tonnes of neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets per year, which can support an estimated 500,000 EV motors annually. Materials for the facility will be sourced from the Mountain Pass Mine.
“Bringing magnetics capabilities home is transformational for MP Materials and America’s supply chains,” MP Materials CEO and founder James Litinsky said in a statement. “I am very proud that after a series of executive orders spanning multiple presidential administrations MP Materials is leading the restoration of the full supply chain and the revitalization of the American manufacturing spirit in our sector.”
On the heels of announcing its new facility, MP Materials also said it has entered into an agreement with General Motors to supply the automaker with materials for its EV models such as the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac LYRIQ and Chevrolet Silverado EV. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The new MP Materials magnetics facility in Fort Worth, Texas, will play a key role in GM’s journey to build a secure, scalable, and sustainable EV supply chain,” said Anirvan Coomer, GM’s executive director of global purchasing and supply chain. “We also look forward to collaborating with MP Materials from a public policy perspective to seek policies that are supportive of the establishment of an efficient U.S.-based rare earth and magnet supply chain.”