MP Materials reports wider-than-expected Q1 loss on weak rare earth prices

The Mountain Pass rare earth mine and processing facility is the only scaled site of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Credit: MP Materials

Rare earths miner MP Materials reported wider-than-expected loss in first quarter on Thursday, hurt by lower concentrate sales and weak prices for the strategic minerals.

MP processes rock it extracts from its Mountain Pass mine in California into rare earths concentrate. It is the second-biggest producer of rare earths outside China after Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths and produces about 15% of the rare earth content consumed annually.

Rare earths materials are critical to the energy transition and the future of the automotive industry. The United States is investing billions of dollars to shore up access.

However, rare earth prices have collapsed more than 50% over the last two years, partly hurt by a slowdown in EV demand, along with economic and geopolitical uncertainties.

The miner has struggled with falling prices for the strategic minerals and, in February, had flagged a mid-teens sequential decline in first-quarter realized concentrate pricing.

Realized price of rare earth oxide in concentrate declined 54% in the quarter.

The company sold 9,332 metric tons of that concentrate during the quarter, about 9% lower than the year-ago period.

CEO James Litinsky said the company experienced “continued difficult pricing environment” in the quarter.

The company reported adjusted loss of 4 cents per share, compared with analysts’ expectations of a loss of 2 cents per share.

(By Mrinalika Roy; Editing by Alan Barona)


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