Maker of rare-earth magnets, Project Earth II, to set up shop in Colorado

The Denver Post; BizWest

November 20, 2023

BizWest and The Denver Post are reporting a rare earth magnet firm is eyeing Colorado to set up a rare earth facility.

The Denver Post article “Manufacturers show interest in Colo.,” reported on Nov. 16, that five companies are considering Colorado for 2,148 new jobs that received approval for $22.9 million in Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits.

The companies include manufacturers of rare-earth magnets, semiconductor production tools, large-scale batteries, and consumable goods, as well as a Greeley-based general contractor. Although construction is not manufacturing, it does fall under the category of “goods” rather than services.

An award of $3.9 million went to Project Earth II, a U.S. maker of rare-earth magnets that are used in aerospace, defense, auto and energy industries. It is looking to build a 25,000-square-foot pilot plant that could eventually expand to 150,000 square feet or more depending on demand.

The plant is expected to be staffed by 250 workers making an average annual wage of $85,036 a year. None of the company’s 15 employees are currently working in Colorado, which is competing with Texas and North Carolina for the new facility.

The federal CHIPS Act has set aside $200 billion for scientific R&D and commercialization related to semiconductors and another $39 billion for semiconductor manufacturing, setting off a wave of semiconductor investments in Colorado and other states. Colorado also continues to see strong interest from battery manufacturers, who are being incentivized under the Inflation Reduction Act to locate plants domestically. The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University estimates the act has generated $70 billion in investment in U.S. battery supply chain capacity.

Colorado landed the Amprius Plant, a 775,000-square-foot facility in Brighton, earlier this year and one of the applicants approved on Thursday, Project Hawk, is looking at Colorado Springs, Aurora or Fort Collins for a facility to make lithium iron phosphate batteries to supply energy storage systems and electric vehicles in North America.

Project Hawk, which received approval for just under $2 million in incentives, expects to create 178 new jobs at an average annual wage of $75,938, which is slightly above the state average. Electricians, technicians, marketing, sales, and engineer positions are included. None of the company’s 350 employees are based in Colorado.

Read the full BizWest story here.


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