The future of the U.S. supply chain for electric vehicles, drones and wind turbines could run through Fort Worth. Las Vegas-based MP Materials held a ground breaking for a new site in AllianceTexas, where the company will manufacture magnets.
“Rare earth magnets are really what will power motion,” said Chairman James Litinsky.
MP Materials runs the Mountain Pass rare earth materials mine in California, one of the largest in the world.
Right now, most of the mining for rare earth materials and 92% of global magnet production comes from China. The neodymium iron boron, or NdFeB magnets, are the strongest in the world and there isn’t a good substitute.
“These industries of the future are where our jobs and GDP are going to come from, so we need to make sure that we have that full supply chain here,” said Litinsky.
“Right now, in places like China and Russia, they’re scared because of what you’re doing,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said during the event.
Instead of just mining the materials, MP will be able to separate them out and produce 1,000 tonnes of magnets per year, just 1% of the world’s production, but still enough to power half a million electric vehicle motors. The company also touted its partnership to supply GM with magnets during the event Thursday.
“We must have energy independence with US-Made renewable. If not, we’re going to put our whole nation at risk,” said Ross Perot Jr, the chairman of the Perot Group.
“Most people would’ve told us, ‘You’re crazy. You can’t do this. You’re never going to be able to compete against China’,” Litinsky said. “Fast-forward, here we are.”
The facility off Independence Parkway will bring 150 jobs and come online in late 2023. With the demand for magnets possibly tripling by 2035, the hope is start moving more production to the U.S.
“I think the lesson from our analogy is that America can compete,” Litinsky said. “I believe this industry is going to be enormous. This is really the beginning.”