Trump controlling only rare earth mine in US ‘unrealistic,’ MP Materials co-chairman says

By Trade WarFOXBusiness

MP Materials co-chairman: It’s unrealistic for Trump administration to take control of our mine

MP Materials co-chairman James Litinsky discusses China’s threat to stop exporting rare earth minerals to the U.S. and why he feels that the government won’t take control of the business.

An official with MP Materials, the only rare earth mining and processing site in North America, told FOX Business he doesn’t foresee the Trump administration taking control of the mine.

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“I really don’t think it’s a realistic consideration because by the time that happens, we are already profitable, we’re producing,” MP Materials co-chairman James Litinsky said during an exclusive interview on "Countdown to the Closing Bell." “Why would they just sign a contract like they do with Lockheed Martin or Boeing or anybody?”

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In 2017, President Trump was presented with idea of nationalizing the Mountain Pass, California, rare earth company by the head of an advanced-materials manufacturer.

Litinsky said MP Materials is responsible for 200 American manufacturing jobs whose workers ensure that the mining facility remains the lowest-cost producer in the world.

“The job we signed up to do was to return the rare earth industry to the United States of America. That’s the job I undertook with the team out there,” he said. “We are getting this job for America.”

Litinsky added he is appreciative that the Trump administration considers MP Materials a national asset.

“There are a lot of great national assets that have partial ownership by people in the market place whether public or private that some of us might not like,” he said. “But that’s just not American industry.”

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Rare-earth minerals are used in electric vehicles, military jet engines, batteries, satellites and even washing machines. They are the latest target of the trade standoff between China and the U.S. and Beijing is reportedly considering restrictions on a set of 17 metals that are difficult to find and extract.

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