The deal includes a new facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
General Motors is on the verge of entering the EV market in a big way. Its upcoming products include the Hummer EV, Silverado EV, and the Cadillac Lyriq, followed by several other model introductions before 2030.
GM is taking sustainability extremely seriously. Earlier this month, it joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance, and now it's announced a new long-term agreement with MP Materials to develop a US supply chain for rare earth magnets. The rare earth materials needed are mined in Mountain Pass, California.
The production will have to be ramped up to meet GM's demand, however. There are reportedly more than 125,000 people interested in the Hummer EV.
Neodymium-iron-boron magnets are critical components that allow electric motors to transform electricity into motion. Although GM developed the permanent magnet system for use in its EVs, there is virtually no domestic supply chain. The collaboration between GM and MP Materials will ramp up the scale of Neodymium-iron-boron with high resiliency and sustainability.
MP Materials owns and operates the Mountain Pass rare earth mine and the processing facility that goes with it. It's the only rare earth production site in the US. Rare earth materials sourced there will be transformed into metal, NdFeB alloy, and magnets at a brand-new production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
"Restoring the full rare earth supply chain to the United States at scale would not be possible without US manufacturers like GM recognizing the strategic consequence and acting with conviction," said MP Materials Chairman and CEO James Litinsky.
"We are building a resilient and sustainable EV manufacturing value chain in North America, from raw materials to cell manufacturing to electric drive motors and beyond, further accelerating GM's vision to support a mass market for EVs," said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain.
To ensure the process is sustainable, waste generated by the rare earth alloy and magnet manufacturing will be recycled back into the process. GM and MP Materials will also explore other options to optimize the efficiency further.
MP Materials is already off to a good start, recycling more than 1 billion liters of water per year at its current facilities.