For one, the U.S. has been over-dependent on China for rare earth supply.
Two, China controls 80% of all rare earth metals used in the U.S., which means we’re incredibly reliant on their supply. Without it, key industries – robotics, 5G, solar panels, your iPhones, electric vehicles, and other civil and military technologies – suffer.
Three, with tensions boiling over with China, there’s fear they could choke off that supply.
“The accelerated price increases in 2020 are likely linked to increasing trade tensions between the United States and China, which remains the dominant producer globally of heavy rare earths,” Northern Minerals CEO Mark Tory said, as quoted by Australian Mining.
It’s why the U.S. Department of Defense just invested more than $12.7 million in three American producers, according to the South China Morning Post. One of those companies was MP Materials (MP), which owns the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California.
It’s why the MP stock has just started to push higher.
It was up $4.62 on Monday, and another $2.31 in pre-market today. From here, it could push to $30, near-term with rare earth fear.