U.S. Wants to Accelerate Efforts to Produce Rare Earths, End China Reliance

The Biden administration announced new incentives to develop the U.S. domestic rare earth supply chain last month. The U.S. has been discussing such efforts for years to end reliance on China, which dominates the global production and supply of rare earths.

The government awarded MP Materials $35 million to develop heavy rare earth elements at its California facility. The aim is to establish a full end to end domestic permanent magnet supply chain.

The White House has been emphasizing China’s dominance in the permanent magnet market with an 87% share.

In addition, the administration said Berkshire Hathaway Energy Renewables will build a new facility in California. It will test the viability of its sustainable lithium extraction process.

The government also said it would invest $3 billion to bolster the U.S. supply chain of advanced batteries. The batteries are used for vehicles and energy storage.

Like almost every other commodity, rare earth prices have been on the rise. Yttrium rose by 12.28% month on month, terbium oxide by 10.44%, neodymium oxide by 7.01% and dysprosium oxide by 2.47%.

China exported a total of 7,835 tons of rare earths in January and February this year, marking a 10.9% increase year on year. Meanwhile, the total value of exports climbed much more dramatically, nearly gaining 62% to reach $127.6 million.

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