MP Materials begins construction on Texas rare earth magnetics factory
MP Materials Corp. began construction on April 21 at its first rare earth metal, alloy, and magnet manufacturing facility, located in Fort Worth, TX. The first-of-its kind U.S. facility is a substantial component of a $700 million investment the company will make over the next two years to fully restore the U.S. rare earth magnetics supply chain. The project will create around 150 high-skill jobs and 1,300 indirect jobs and is located in Hillwood’s 27,000-acre, mixed-use development, AllianceTexas.
In parallel, MP Materials and General Motors are co-announcing a definitive supply agreement to produce alloy and magnets for GM’s EV programs. The definitive supply agreement solidifies the terms of a binding agreement announced by MP Materials and GM in December. Under the long-term agreement, MP Materials will supply U.S.-sourced and manufactured rare earth materials, alloy, and finished magnets for the electric motors in more than a dozen models using GM’s Ultium Platform, with a gradual production ramp that is expected to begin in late 2023, starting with alloy.
MP Materials’ Fort Worth facility will have the capacity to produce approximately 1,000 tonnes of neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets per year, supporting the production of approximately 500,000 EV traction motors, with room to scale. In addition to EVs, NdFeB magnets are critical inputs to robots, wind turbines, drones, defense systems, and many other high-growth technologies. Adamas Intelligence, an independent research firm, forecasts that global demand for NdFeB magnets will triple by 2035 on the back of rising demand for EV traction motors, wind power generators, energy efficient consumer appliances, and more.
In February, the Department of Defense awarded MP Materials $35 million to refine and separate heavy rare earth elements at the company’s Mountain Pass, California, rare earth materials production facility. MP’s Texas magnetics factory will source refined feedstock from Mountain Pass and transform it into finished products, delivering an end-to-end supply chain, including mining and refining, metal, alloy, and magnet manufacturing, and recycling.
Mountain Pass is a closed loop, zero-discharge facility with a dry tailings process that recycles more than 1.7 billion liters of water per year. To optimize for efficiency and sustainability, byproduct generated from alloy and magnet manufacturing will be recycled in a closed loop to every extent possible.
“Bringing magnetics capabilities home is transformational for MP Materials and America’s supply chains,” said James Litinsky, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, MP Materials. “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.”
"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, Executive Director, Global Purchasing & Supply Chain, General Motors. “As the foundational automotive customer of the Fort Worth facility, GM will use the products from this plant in the GMC HUMMER EV, Cadillac LYRIQ, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and more than a dozen models based on GM’s Ultium platform. 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."
Photo: Hillwood and Perot Group Chairman, Ross Perot Jr. (left) and MP Materials CEO, James Litinsky (right), stand in front of the GM EV Hummer model and a rendering of MP Materials’ new magnetics manufacturing facility and a groundbreaking ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas. The new facility is part of MP Materials' mission to restore the full US supply chain of rare earth materials.