James Litinsky, CEO of MP Materials, appeared on CNBC Wednesday addressing the confusion over the rare earth products the company sells in the electric vehicle space.
The mining company, which owns the Mountain Pass open pit in southeastern California, supplies rare earth magnets to manufacturers of electric vehicles, but the magnets are not intended for use in car batteries, he said.
“Whatever the battery technology, we think we are a picks and shovels game for this movement,” he told Jim Cramer in a “Mad Money” interview.
There’s an ongoing debate about the best battery technologies, whether it’s lithium-ion, hydrogen, or solid-state technologies that can power electric vehicles. Regardless of the battery source, MP Motor is the motor because its magnets are used in the motor, Litinsky said.
“It’s so important because when people think about EV materials and there’s a lot of excitement,” he said. “Who knows what the technology will look like.”
Rare earth magnets are used in environmentally friendly technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbines to get energy moving, the company said. Trends in electrification lead to a growing demand for neodynium praseodymium, or NdPr. MP Materials is the largest manufacturer of NdPr magnets in the West and predicts that this will be the dominant technology in the decades to come.
“We are independent of all OEM profits, whether Tesla, Rivian, Arrival, GM, Ford, Volkswagen. We want everyone to be successful,” said Litinsky.
Shares in MP Materials, which went public last month as part of a blank check corporate merger, rose nearly 10% on Wednesday, ending the session at $ 28.23.