Rare Earths: Chinese Magnet Giant JL Mag Invests in Hastings

by | 9. Jul 2024 - 10:39 | Economy

The Australian company is establishing European raw material supply chains but also cooperates with China.

For seven million dollars, JL Mag, one of the largest Chinese manufacturers of rare earth permanent magnets, will acquire an almost ten percent stake in Australian mining company Hastings. In addition, Han Yu, Vice President of JL Mag, will become a member of Hastings’ Board of Directors.

The transaction (PDF) is being carried out via JL MAG Green Tech, a subsidiary of the Chinese enterprise. The proceeds of the investment will be used to develop Hastings’ Yangibana rare earth project in Western Australia, which is scheduled to start production in the second quarter of 2025. Charles Lew, Hastings’ Executive Chairman, said JL Mag’s support was a decisive vote of confidence in the viability of the project.

The Australian company is focused on building European raw material supply chains and is working with Solvay and Neo Performance Materials, rare earth producers active in the region. Nevertheless, Hastings is also cooperating with the raw materials giant China; before the investment by JL Mag, an offtake agreement had already been signed with Baotou Sky Rock, a producer of rare earth metals and permanent magnets (we reported).

Despite their efforts to establish independent supply chains, other Western raw material companies are also intertwined with global market leader China. For example, the Chinese Shenghe Group holds shares in MP Materials, the operator of the only rare earth mine in the United States to date. However, countries are increasingly opposing this. Just this week, for example, Canada’s government announced stricter controls on foreign investments in the mining sector, and Hastings’ home country of Australia also wants to act.

Photo: iStock/Maksim Safaniuk

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