Canada-based miner NioCorp Developments has signed an offtake term sheet with automaker Stellantis to enter a definitive supply agreement for rare earth minerals critical to electrical vehicles (EVs).

The term sheet envisages a definitive agreement for a ten-year offtake contract involving the supply of minerals, namely neodymium-praseodymium oxide, dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide.

These minerals will be produced by NioCorp at its Elk Creek Critical Minerals Project in south-east Nebraska, US.

The rare earth oxides are used in high-strength permanent magnets, intended for EV motors, wind turbines and consumer electronics.

Stellantis chief purchasing and supply chain officer Maxime Picat said: “Stellantis intends to lead the industry with the commitment to be carbon net zero by 2038 – a goal that requires innovation and a complete redefinition of our sourcing strategies.

“By working with partners like NioCorp, we are taking important steps, with the aim of decarbonising mobility and ensuring strategic supplies of raw materials necessary for the success of the company’s global electrification plans highlighted in our Dare Forward 2030 strategy.”

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By GlobalData

The signing of the binding offtake agreement is subject to the satisfactory completion of due diligence, negotiation of definitive documentation and customary closing conditions, among others.

Stellantis said there is no certainty that a binding agreement will be signed between the parties.

NioCorp executive chairman and CEO Mark Smith said: “We are very pleased to announce that NioCorp and Stellantis have agreed to collaboratively develop Stellantis’ magnetic rare earth supply chain, including helping to identify a sintered rare earth permanent magnet manufacturer that provides additional geographic optionality to Stellantis, in support of their ambitious commitment to reach carbon net zero by 2038.”