Defense Bill Calls for a Competitive, Multi-Source Rare Earth Inventory Plan

Representative Coffman Insists on Addressing Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

WASHINGTON--()--The United States Magnetic Materials Association (“USMMA”), a trade association dedicated to restoring a competitive, secure, end-to-end rare earth supply chain to support the domestic manufacturing of rare earth permanent magnets, welcomes the inclusion of important and timely rare earth-related language in the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization bill (H.R. 1540) that was passed by the House Armed Services Committee last night. The USMMA lauds the leadership of Representative Mike Coffman (CO-6), whose amendment recognizes current supply-chain vulnerabilities, focuses the Department of Defense on establishing an inventory of required materials, and encourages domestic manufacturing in this critical area.

In particular, this provision would require the Defense Logistics Agency Strategic Materials (formerly the Defense National Stockpile Center) to develop a plan to establish an inventory of rare earth oxides, metals, alloys, and magnets for defense purposes. By also identifying “the steps necessary to develop or maintain a competitive, multi-source supply chain to avoid reliance on a single source of supply”, the plan would mitigate our nation’s current overdependence on unreliable foreign sources for critical rare earth materials. It would also encourage U.S. manufacturing capabilities and thus reinvigorate a competitive, multi-source domestic rare earth industry.

Key defense applications, ranging from precision-guided munitions to satellite wave tubes to certain lasers, depend on rare earth materials for functionality. So do increasingly popular green technologies and electronic goods like hybrid cars, wind turbines, and mobile phones. As growing global demand begins to outstrip supply of key elements, this plan will help to ensure that oxides, alloys, metals, and magnets are available for critical defense requirements. Representative Coffman’s provision is a significant step forward in safeguarding U.S. national security, and USMMA commends him for his foresight.

Text of the legislative language can be found here.

More information on the USMMA can be found at http://www.usmagnetmaterials.com.

USMMA members include:

Thomas & Skinner, Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of cast and sintered alnico magnets, magnetic assemblies, and transformer laminations. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ceramic Magnetics, Inc., Thomas & Skinner is also a leading manufacturer of soft ferrite magnets.

Hoosier Magnetics, Inc. specializes in the manufacturing of hard ferrite powders used in a wide variety of permanent magnet applications. Founded in 1975 in Washington, Indiana; Hoosier is a privately held company owned by Dr. B. Thomas Shirk.

Electron Energy Corporation is a worldwide leader in samarium cobalt magnet production and offers design services and rare earth magnet assemblies. Electron Energy is the only US operated rare earth magnet company that still melts its magnet alloys in-house.

U.S. Rare Earths, Inc., an American natural resources development company based in Salt Lake City and New York City, holds large resources and reserves of high-grade rare earth metals and the largest documented high-grade thorium properties in the world within its properties in Idaho and Montana, including a large portion of known and estimated U.S. reserves.

The Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corporation, a privately owned corporation comprised of five strategic businesses, manufactures a wide range of both permanent and soft magnetic products and assemblies at facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and China.

Great Western Minerals Group is a Canadian-based specialty metals production company with a vertically-integrated business model in the rare earth element industry through exploration and mine development. Through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Less Common Metals Limited, located in Birkenhead UK, and Great Western Technologies Inc., located in Troy, Michigan, the Company produces a variety of specialty alloys for use in the rechargeable battery, permanent magnet, automotive and aerospace industries.

Lynas Corporation has a strategy of creating a reliable, fully integrated source of supply from mine through to customers, and to become the benchmark for security of supply and environmental standards in the global Rare Earths industry. Lynas owns a rich deposit of Rare Earths at Mt Weld in Western Australia.

Ucore Rare Metals Inc. is a Canadian resource exploration company focused on rare metal ores, among the primary input materials of technology applications in the 21st century. Ucore maintains holdings across North America including Bokan Mountain, estimated to be one of the most significant Dysprosium and other Heavy Rare Earth deposits within the United States.

Contacts

J.A. Green & Company
Jeff Green, 202-546-0388
jeff@jagreenandco.com

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Contacts

J.A. Green & Company
Jeff Green, 202-546-0388
jeff@jagreenandco.com