Rare Earths MMI: $2.3T government spending bill includes more than $800M for rare earths research

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The Rare Earths Monthly Metals Index (MMI) gained 18.2% for this month’s index value.

January 2021 Rare Earths MMI chart

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$2.3T pandemic aid, government spending package includes rare earths research funds

Late last year, President Donald Trump signed a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and government funding package that included more than $800 million in funds for rare earths research and development.

Trump signed an executive order in September 2020 calling out the threat to dependence on foreign sources of critical minerals. The president also signed a similar executive order in 2017 that called for the secretary of the interior to identify critical minerals. Ultimately, the process produced a list of 35 critical minerals.

Section 7001 of the 5,593-page bill outlines funding related to critical minerals.

The bill text calls for the secretary of energy to “develop and assess advanced separation technologies for the extraction and recovery 17 of rare earth elements and other critical materials from coal and coal byproducts” and “determine if there are, and mitigate, 20 any potential environmental or public health im21 pacts that could arise from the recovery of rare 22 earth elements from coal-based resources.”

The bill called for authorization to appropriate $23 million for the aforementioned efforts in fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

MP Materials revenue rises 52%

In late November, California-based MP Materials released its Q3 and year-to-date financial results.

The firm announced Q3 revenue of $41 million, marking a 52% year-over-year increase.

“Our results show continued strong operational execution throughout 2020,” MP Materials Chairman and CEO James Litinsky said. “With our business combination complete, MP has a fully equitized balance sheet to support the execution of our long-term plans to become a key supply chain partner as global industry advances towards electrification. Our next several quarters will be focused on our move downstream into production of higher-margin separated rare earths with a focus on NdPr. We expect to continue driving profitable growth as we produce our rare earth concentrate, which comprises 15% of global rare earth content today.”

MP produced 10,197 metric tons of rare earth oxide in concentrate during Q3. The total marked an increase compared to output in Q2 and Q3 2019.

Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA rose 159% year over year to $11.6 million.

Actual metals prices and trends

The Chinese yttrium price rose 1.9% month over month to $33.27 per kilogram. The terbium oxide price rose 2.1% to $1,137.53 per kilogram.

The neodymium oxide price, meanwhile, rose to $78,930.87 per metric ton.

The Europium oxide price gained 1.9% to $32.50 per kilogram. The dysprosium oxide price rose 2.4% to $301.79 per kilogram.

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