Molycorp and Hitachi Metals to Pursue Formation of Joint Ventures to Manufacture Rare Earth Alloys & Magnets in the U.S.

December 20, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Molycorp, Inc. and Hitachi Metals, Ltd. jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement regarding the planned formation of joint ventures for the production of rare earth alloys and magnets in the U.S. The ventures would be focused on the manufacture of neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) alloys and magnets that are vital to many clean energy, automotive, computer, health care, communications and other technologies.

The parties are expected to sign definitive agreements, which are subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, for the alloy joint venture by early April 2011. Signing of definitive agreements, subject to the satisfactory conclusion of the feasibility study and other conditions, for the joint venture to produce rare earth magnets would follow later in 2011.

"We look forward to launching these joint ventures for production in the U.S. together with Molycorp, which has long experience and deep expertise in the rare earth industry," said Nobuhiko Shima, President of NEOMAX Company of Hitachi Metals, Ltd. "As the world’s top manufacturer of NdFeB magnets, we are well positioned to satisfy the growing demand from global customers for these rare earth magnets, and to contribute to an energy efficient society."

"We are very pleased to have reached agreement in principle with Hitachi Metals, the world’s leading manufacturer of rare earth magnets, to launch these joint ventures," said Mark Smith, Molycorp’s Chief Executive Officer. "These joint ventures are an integral part of Molycorp’s ’mine-to-magnets’ business plan, and they move our Company and the United States one step closer to realizing the strategic goal of re-establishing a complete rare earth manufacturing supply chain in the U.S."