US Critical Metals (USCM) has signed an agreement with US Critical Materials to invest in rare earth projects in Montana and Idaho, US.

Through its wholly owned unit US Energy Metals, USCM will invest in projects including the Lemhi Pass Trail Property in Lemhi County, Idaho; and the Sheep Creek Property in Ravalli County, Montana.

Under the agreed terms, USCM will have the option to earn an interest of up to 50% in the newly formed entity, US Rare Elements Corp. (USRE).

US Critical Materials will assign a 100% stake in the two rare earth properties, which hold key elements such as neodymium and praseodymium, to USRE.

Besides, USCM will have the option to earn an additional 25% stake in USRE. This will be subject to mutual approval of US Critical Materials and USCM.

Located in the Montana-Idaho alkalic belt, the two properties also hold other elements, including dysprosium, cerium, europium, gadolinium, niobium, lanthanum, scandium, strontium, and gallium.

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By GlobalData

These minerals are critical in the production of electric vehicle batteries, as well as military and defence applications, among others.

USCM CEO and director Darren Collins said: “This partnership positions USCM with increased exposure to commodities essential to US security of supply and national security interests.

“Consistent with our Clayton Ridge Lithium Property in Nevada and Haynes Cobalt Property in Idaho, these rare earth properties in Montana and Idaho have strong grade indications and significant exploration potential.”

USCM expects the transaction to expand its portfolio while further diversifying exposure to ‘multiple discovery-focused projects’ in US mining states.