Awarded to MP Materials    

 rare earths 

February 2022

San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Paul Cook congratulates MP Materials Corp. on being awarded $35 million from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a commercial-scale heavy rare earth element processing and separation facility at Mountain Pass.

The contract was announced Tuesday by President Biden, MP Materials CEO James Litinsky, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

MP Materials Corp., located in the First District of San Bernardino County, is the only active rare-earths mine in the United States. 

“This partnership will ensure that the United States will no longer need to rely on China for rare earth materials, which are critical to our nation’s self-defense systems and clean energy efforts, such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicle batteries,” said Supervisor Cook. “Not only that, but the grant will allow MP Materials Corp. to create more than 350 new jobs over the next two years. It’s a win-win.”

Currently, China controls most of the rare earths market, and approximately 85% of the world’s refined rare earths came from the country in 2020. Demand for these materials is only expected to increase as the global market continues to move toward renewable energy sources.

“The ability to mine, process, and refine rare earths at Mountain Pass is foundational to a national effort to secure the U.S. rare earth supply chain,” said MP Materials Chairman and CEO, James Litinsky.

“We thank the Department of Defense for its confidence and support.”   

San Bernardino County

First District Supervisor Paul Cook