LAS VEGAS and TOKYO, February 21, 2023 – MP Materials Corp. (NYSE: MP) and Sumitomo Corporation (“SC”) today announced an agreement to diversify and strengthen rare earth supplies in Japan. Under the agreement, SC will serve as the exclusive distributor of NdPr oxide produced by MP Materials to Japanese customers. Further, the companies will collaborate on the supply of rare earth metals and other products.
Rare earth materials such as neodymium-praseodymium, or NdPr, are used to produce the world’s most powerful and efficient magnets. Rare earth magnets are key inputs to electrification and advanced technologies including electric vehicles, wind turbines, and various electronic devices.
The effort to electrify and decarbonize the global economy is causing demand for rare earths to grow rapidly, outpacing new supply. China is the world’s leading producer. Access to MP Materials’ U.S.-produced rare earths will stabilize, diversify, and strengthen a supply chain of critical importance to Japan’s manufacturing sector.
SC has a long history in the rare earth industry. SC pioneered trading and distribution of rare earth materials in the 1980s. To help establish a stable global supply chain for rare earths, SC has engaged in rare earth exploration, development, production, and trading activities globally. With this knowledge, SC will continue to build value added trade by utilizing the company’s enhanced management resources.
MP Materials’ Mountain Pass facility is the largest source of rare earth production in the Western Hemisphere. Mountain Pass is a closed loop, zero-discharge facility with a dry tailings process that operates under stringent U.S. and California environmental regulations.
SC and MP Materials will leverage mutual strengths to contribute to the stable procurement of rare earth materials in Japan and support efforts to decarbonize society.
About MP Materials
MP Materials (NYSE: MP) produces specialty materials that are vital inputs for electrification and other advanced technologies. MP’s Mountain Pass facility is America’s only scaled rare earth production source. The company is currently expanding its manufacturing operations downstream to provide a full supply chain solution from materials to magnetics. More information is available at https://mpmaterials.com/.
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About Sumitomo Corporation
SC is a leading Fortune 500 global trading and business investment company with 131 locations in 66 countries. The entire SC Group consists of more than 800 companies and nearly 75,000 personnel. SC conducts commodity transactions in all industries utilizing worldwide networks, provides related customers with various financing, serves as an organizer and a coordinator for various projects, and invests in companies to promote greater growth potential. SC’s core business areas include Metal Products, Transportation and Construction Systems, Environment and Infrastructure, Media, Network, Lifestyle Related Goods and Services, Mineral Resources, Energy, and Chemical and Electronics.