Materials’ process as a whole. MP Materials owns and oper- ates the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine and Processing Facility in California. Rare earths are a group of 17 elements, Sloustcher said. Those most crucial to the magnetic supply chain are neodymium and praseo- dymium, which power things like electric motors, mobile devices and wind turbines. Sloustcher said the pro- cess to get these specific rare earth elements begins at the Mountain Pass facility, where the elements are mined from ore, and a concentrate of the mixed rare earth elements is created. The second step consists of separating the elements into their individ- ual forms, called rare earth oxide. That separated rare earth oxide will go to the new Fort Worth facility, where it will be reduced to metal, made into a magnetic alloy and then finished into a magnet, Sloustcher said. “So, [production] starts in California and ends in Texas,” Sloustcher said. Economic impacts One of the main benefits of the magnet manufactur- ing facility is job creation, according to Chris Strayer, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. “Everything that goes on [in AllianceTexas] is impactful to the community because it’s creating jobs, creating investment and just creating opportunity for the community,” Strayer said. Strayer also said the indus- try behind MP Materials itself will put Fort Worth on the map as the world becomes more reliant on clean forms of energy. “It’s certainly something of high importance to the coun- try in general, and to have it in Fort Worth is fantastic,” Strayer said. Fort Worth City Council approved a seven-year tax abatement agreement at its Jan. 25 meeting with MP
THE RARE EARTH MAGNET PROCESS The process to make the rare earth magnets produced by MP Materials can be broken down into the four following steps.
DESIGNED BY NICOLAS DELGADILLO
MP Materials operates this Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine and Processing Facility in California near the Nevada border. (Courtesy MP Materials)
Bastnaesite ore is recovered from an open-pit surface mine and separated from overburden waste.
mecca for advanced manu- facturing and innovation,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in the release. Why AllianceTexas? Sloustcher said one of the main reasons why MP Materials chose to open its facility in AllianceTexas, a 27,000-acre master-planned community by Hillwood Development Co., is because of “aligned values” with Hill- wood in terms of moving quickly to get the site built. In addition, Sloustcher said MP Materials chose to open in the Alliance area because the workforce in the Dallas-Fort Worth area “is prepared to support this type of work.” “This will be a manufactur- ing facility, but it’ll also be an engineering headquarters,” Sloustcher said. “There’s a number of great universities in the area. There’s a strong workforce.” Ross Perot Jr., chair of Hill- wood and The Perot Group, said in the April 21 release that MP Materials is “reshor- ing important next-genera- tion manufacturing jobs to America.” “We’re proud that Allian- ceTexas can partner with MP Materials to play a key role in America’s ability to power its future,” Perot said in the release. The Fort Worth facility will play a major role in MP
Through a process of crushing, milling, conditioning and flotation, rare earth elements are separated from waste to produce a mixed rare earth concentrate.
The mixed rare earth concentrate undergoes a complex chemical process to purify, recover, separate and precipitate individual rare earth elements.
Pure forms of rare earth oxides—primarily lanthanum, cerium and NdPr oxide—are packaged and treated to meet specific customer specifications.
Once it is completed in late 2023, the Fort Worth facility will be used for the nishing part of the magnetics process. AllianceTexas location
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The magnets are used in a variety of clean energy, infor- mation technology, defense and industrial applications. “Increasingly, the world right now is electrifying across every front imagin- able, and so the demand for rare earth magnets is sky- rocketing,” said Matt Sloust- cher, MP Materials’ senior vice president of communi- cations and policy. MP Materials fi rst announced it was bringing the facility to Fort Worth on Dec. 9, when it also announced a partnership with General Motors Co. to supply U.S.-sourced and manufactured rare earth materials, alloy and finished magnets for the electric motors in over a dozen vehi- cle models. Sloustcher said MP Materi- als plans to begin production
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SOURCE: MP MATERIALS/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
at the Fort Worth facility in late 2023. “Our local, state and national economic and mobility goals require secure development of rare earth magnets, and I am proud that Fort Worth will serve as a center for our nation’s focus on advancing this effort,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said in the release. But in addition to the
larger picture, MP Materials’ new facility will create about 150 high-skilled manufactur- ing and engineering jobs and 1,300 indirect jobs connected to the facility’s construction. “This incredible invest- ment will not only create more than 100 new jobs for hardworking Texans but will also bolster the state’s supply chain in high-tech industries while solidifying Texas as a
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