General Motors To Source Rare Earth Magnets From MP Materials For Ultium Motors14
General Motors has entered a long-term agreement with Las Vegas-based rare earth mining company MP Materials to secure U.S.-sourced and manufactured rare earth materials, alloys and finished magnets for its electric vehicle motors.
MP Materials owns and operates the Mountain Pass mine in California, which is the only active and scaled rare earth production site in America. GM’s partnership with the company will allow it to source domestically-developed neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets for its Ultium Drive electric motors, which will be used in future EVs like the GMC Hummer EV, Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Silverado EV, among others.
“Although the development of permanent magnets began in the U.S., there is virtually no domestic capacity to produce sintered NdFeB magnets today,” the automaker said in a press release published Thursday. “This strategic collaboration seeks to accelerate the restoration of the U.S. rare earth supply chain at commercial scale with high resiliency and environmental sustainability.”
GM and MP Materials say they “have signed a binding agreement on terms and expect to enter into a definitive supply agreement shortly.” In addition, the two companies say they will look to “collaboratively engage from a public policy perspective to seek policies that are supportive of the establishment of a secure, U.S. rare earth supply chain.”
Securing a steady supply of rare earth materials is viewed as a critically important aspect of producing battery-powered vehicles, as these materials are required to make EV motors and batteries. While the majority of rare earth mining currently occurs abroad, MP Materials Chairman and CEO James Litinsky says partnerships like this will help bring more rare earth mining and manufacturing to the U.S.
“Restoring the full rare earth supply chain to the United States at scale would not be possible without U.S. manufacturers like GM recognizing the strategic consequence and acting with conviction,” Litinsky explained. “We are proud to welcome GM as the foundational automotive customer for our new magnetics facility and join forces with a company fully aligned with our vision to reinvigorate the American manufacturing spirit.”
Separately, GM also announced this week that it would partner with German supplier VAC to build a plant in the U.S. that will manufacture permanent magnets for the electric motors. VAC is described as “a leading global producer of advanced magnetic materials and the largest producer of permanent magnets in the Western Hemisphere with nearly 100 years of experience.” The plant is expected to begin production of permanent magnets in 2024.
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So one of the main things people claim about ev is that they are supposedly better for the environment but yet they destroy all types of land mining for the rare earth material lol. Funny thing no matter what majority of it will come from China since that is where most of it is.
Rare-earth ore deposits are found all over the world. The major ores are in China, the United States, Australia, and Russia,
China just so happens to mine more of it atm. That will change.
Thanks for the link I appreciate it
Let me ask you something. I have seen people say in different places that hydrogen cars or something like that is supposedly the actual future people claim they are cleaner and I guess cheaper. So my question is if this is true why are the automakers wasting time with ev? I think Honda makes one now but it’s lease only and I think only available in California. I’m asking because you seem to know more about ev cars.
Gm and Honda have been pursuing hydrogen for a long time (and cooperated with each other on the research). Other industries are also pursuing it, such as rail and power generation (Caterpillar recently announced they will produce hydrogen powered gen sets). The problem for automotive is getting the fueling infrastructure set up, it’s even more difficult than building out the electric charger infrastructure
Yeah, EVs can scale quickly because we already have a nationwide power grid that delivers electricity even to the most remote areas. The grid will need upgrades over the next decade, but it’s not an impossible task by any stretch. Hydrogen is mostly non-existent outside of California and building the infrastructure is more involved. H2 makes sense for things like trucks, airplanes, and ships that refuel in known places. I’m not sure it’s the best option for personal cars and trucks though.
What makes it hard building the infrastructure cost?
from what i’ve read, you can mine these metals wherever you want, but you still need to send them to china to get processed.
does this change that?
Deals like this will help bring mining and processing back to the states.
I believe correct. I read somewhere MP currently mines in California and sends the material to China for processing. I don’t think mining is the problem, it is refining that is very very dirty with all sorts of toxic byproducts. Hence the reason the west was happy to send it to China. Pre EV revolution rare earths were used in small quantities. But EV’s are going to need pounds of the stuff per unit times tens of millions of units = big number.
This news along with previous news on sourcing of chips, lithium, battery plant, and investing in charging infrastructure looks like they are FINALLY starting to get serious about being a large vehicle manufacturer in the EV space. It’s about time. They still have a lot of catching up to do with Tesla. All this positioning is something they should have been doing 14 years ago in 2007 when they first announced the Volt as the answerr to the Tesla Roadster introduced at the 2006 auto show. But since GM already had experiance in pure EVs with the 1999 EV1, they really should have started with the pure EV Bolt EUV, a more SUV like EV. Imagine how much further along they would have been now if they did that? I guess better late then never.
Wait till gm tries to start mining lithium from the Salton Sea. When the crew pulls up and gets out of the truck the smell will run them off in a hurry! That sea is the most toxic waste dump in the US. A real health hazard to just be around especially when the wind kicks up the dust out there in the desert.
The Biden administration will surely put the kibosh on this. Something about “eliminating the US carbon footprint” even if it means eliminating the US in the process…