USA Rare Earth to invest $100+ million in first-of-its-kind rare earth metal and magnet manufacturing facility

Simon Bright, Tony Mastin, USARE President Thayer Smith, USARE General Counsel David Kronenfeld, and Joe Lewallen

Simon Bright, Tony Mastin, USARE President Thayer Smith, USARE General Counsel David Kronenfeld, and Joe Lewallen at the press conference on June 9, 2022, announcing the development of the USA Rare Earth manufacturing facility in Stillwater, OK.

McAfee & Taft is pleased to serve as legal counsel to USA Rare Earth LLC (USARE) in its acquisition and development of the nation’s very first rare earth metal and sintered neo-magnet manufacturing facility, to be located in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Florida-based company, which controls and owns the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth, Lithium and Critical Minerals Project in Hudspeth County, Texas, plans to invest more than $100 million in the facility. Once fully operational, the manufacturing plant will convert rare mined minerals, such as lithium and beryllium, into metals, magnets, and other specialty components used in sophisticated electronics, including those fueling the electric vehicle, green energy, consumer electronics, and defense industries.

Production is expected to begin in 2023, and the facility is expected to employ more than 100 people.

“Currently, the United States, European Union, Japan, and much of the developed world is largely reliant on China for critical rare earth element production,” said Thayer Smith, president of USA Rare Earth. “Our goal with this project is to advance U.S. manufacturing capacity by establishing the first vertically integrated domestic supply chain for rare earth elements, and we are excited to be working in Oklahoma.”

McAfee & Taft real estate attorneys Joe Lewallen (lead), Simon Bright and Cole Marshall, tax and economic development attorney Tony Mastin, and environmental attorney Garry Keele represented USA Rare Earth LLC in the acquisition of a 300,000-square-foot industrial property located in Stillwater. The firm led in the negotiation and preparation of purchase agreements and conducted or assisted in conducting extensive title, environmental and property condition due diligence in connection with the purchase of the real property and with the environmental permitting with the applicable state and federal regulatory authorities, as well as addressing complex and creative title insurance solutions.

The firm also assisted in negotiating and obtaining various state and local economic development incentives, including tax increment financing, with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma Department of Energy, City of Stillwater, Stillwater Economic Development Authority, and other parties for this first-of-a-kind project.