USA Rare Earth has exercised its option to acquire 80% of the Round Top heavy rare earth project in Texas, US.

The option has been exercised in accordance with the terms of the amended and restated option agreement signed with Texas Mineral Resources (TMRC) in 2019.

Additionally, USA Rare Earth raised $50m in a Series C funding round.

This makes the firm funded through the completion of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Round Top heavy rare-earth, lithium and critical minerals project.

The DFS includes a pre-feasibility study, pilot plant and a demonstration plant, which is planned to be built at the Round Top site later this year.

Comprising test heap leach pads and continuous ion-exchange processing, the demonstration plant is expected to inform detailed engineering plans. It would also offer representative product samples to support offtake agreements.

USA Rare Earth CEO Pini Althaus said: “This will enable us to expedite bringing Round Top into production and provide the necessary materials for EV’s and advanced manufacturing, including the essential materials for chipsets, semiconductors and 5G, all of which are hosted at Round Top and are the focus of President Biden’s recent executive order.”

USA Rare Earth Magnets, a subsidiary of USA Rare Earth, is also fully funded to recommission the sintered rare earth permanent magnet manufacturing system.

acquired from Hitachi Metals America last year, the sintered rare earth permanent magnet plant is due to enter production in the second half of next year.

Althaus added: “We are well-positioned to reestablish a fully integrated, environmentally friendly and US-based mine-to-magnet and mine-to-battery supply chain.”