USA Rare Earth LLC is investing over $100 million to develop a rare earth metal and sintered neo-magnet manufacturing plant in Stillwater, OK, state officials announced Thursday. The facility will be the first of its kind in the United States.
The firm controls and operates the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth, Lithium, and Critical Minerals Project in Hudspeth County, TX. Its manufacturing site will convert rare earth oxides into metals, magnets, and other specialty materials.
“Currently, the United States, European Union, Japan, and much of the developed world is largely reliant on China for critical rare earth element production.” Thayer Smith, president of USA Rare Earth, said in a release. “Our goal with this project is to advance US manufacturing capacity by establishing the first vertically integrated domestic supply chain for rare earth elements, and we are excited to be working in Oklahoma.”
Production is expected to begin at the Stillwater plant in 2023. More than 100 jobs will be created through the project.
“To increase national security, the US must secure a domestic, reliable and sustainable supply of critical rare earth elements,” said Ken Wagner, Secretary of Energy and Environment for the state of Oklahoma. “Oklahoma is perfectly positioned to help lead the way as the US seeks energy independence and less reliance on foreign materials fron countries who do not share our values.”
USA Rare Earth plans to have the necessary operating permits for all metal, flake, and magnet operations in 2022.