Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart’s mining company, Hancock Prospecting, has acquired a 5.3% stake in US-based rare earths producer MP Materials.

The move further expands the mining billionaire’s investments in the mineral ore sector.

According to The West Australian report, the acquisition is valued at around $212m.

MP operates the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California.

More than 38,500 tonnes of concentrated rare earths were produced by MP Materials in 2020, surpassing 15% of the world’s consumption, according to the company website.

The acquisition comes after Lynas Rare Earths, another Australian company and the second-largest producer of rare earths outside China, ceased merger discussions with MP Materials.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

A successful merger would have combined the two leading rare earth miners outside China, a country that tightly controls the market for the minerals, which are crucial to various high-tech industries.

Hancock Prospecting’s interest in rare earths extends beyond MP Materials.

The company also holds a 5.85% stake in Brazilian Rare Earths (BRE), valued at around $34.3m. Hancock’s investment in BRE, amounting to $21m, was made during a pre-listing funding round.

BRE is currently developing the Rocha da Rocha clay rare earths project in Bahia State, Brazil. This region is known for its numerous rare earths exploration projects, highlighting the global race to secure supplies of these vital components for future technologies.

In May last year, Indian iron ore producer NMDC was in talks with Hancock Prospecting for exploration and mining of lithium, reported Reuters.

Citing a source, the news agency said: “Lithium exploration is at a very nascent stage, but we are talking to Hancock Prospecting for their investments into it.”