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Agroup of rare earth industry players is lobbying the US Congress to approve bipartisan legislation providing tax incentives for US manufacturing of permanent rare earth magnets.

The industry coalition has urged support for HR 5033, cosponsored by Republicans Eric Swalwell and Guy Reschenthaler, and has called for its provisions to be added to pending federal infrastructure legislation.

The Bill would create a $20/kg production tax credit for magnets that are manufactured in the US, or $30/kg for magnets that are both manufactured in the US and for which all component rare earths material is produced and recycled or reclaimed wholly in the US.

To be eligible, the rare earth magnets may not include any component rare earth magnet material produced in non-allied foreign nations, such as China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Rare earth magnets are used in a variety of applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs), wind power turbines, home appliances, factory automation systems, computers, cellphones, and energy-saving electric motors.

The Biden Administration recently issued an executive order setting a goal that 50% of all new vehicles sold in 2030 will be zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles, all of which rely on rare earth magnets. The bipartisan infrastructure Bill recently passed by the US Senate includes $5.75-billion to replace thousands of transit vehicles, including buses, with zero-emission vehicles.

“This bipartisan legislation would provide important tax incentives for the production of permanent rare earth magnets, which, if enacted, could provide powerful incentives for investment across all areas of rare earths production in the US, from mining to magnet manufacturing,” says NioCorp Developments CEO Mark Smith.

NioCorp forms part of the group of rare earth industry players lobbying Congress.

NioCorp is currently evaluating the potential for production of rare earth elements (REEs) as a byproduct of planned production of the critical minerals niobium, scandium and titanium from the Elk Creek project, in Nebraska.

Commercial rare earth products currently being examined for potential production by NioCorp include neodymium-praseodymium oxide, dysprosium oxide and terbium oxide. These are the primary REEs used to manufacture neodymium-iron-boron magnets.

Other legislative proposals in the US Congress would provide a variety of tax incentives for the mining of REEs and the production of separated rare earth oxides, which NioCorp is considering.

“We are pleased to support this legislation and to work in this alliance to push this Bill and other legislative initiatives designed to promote greater production of these and other critical minerals in the US,” says Smith.