Germany's Vacuumschmelze agrees binding deal with GM on magnet factory

FILE PHOTO: Logo of General Motors atop the company headquarters
The GM logo in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Vacuumschmelze (VAC) has agreed a binding deal with General Motors (GM.N) to build a North American factory to make rare earth permanent magnets for electric vehicles, the privately held German company said on Monday.

The agreement finalises a memorandum of understanding the two companies announced in December 2021, a statement said. No financial details were provided.

The factory to make rare earth permanent magnets needed for EV motors is expected to open in 2025 and supply a wide range of GM models, including the Chevrolet Silverado, Cadillac Lyriq and the Hummer, it added.

Rare earths are a grouping of 17 metals that, after processing, are used to make magnets found in EV motors that turn electricity into motion.

VAC, the largest producer of rare earth permanent magnets in the Western hemisphere, said the factory will use locally sourced raw materials and support GM for a minimum of 10 years.

GM has said that it could produce up to 2 million EVs globally by 2025, the year when it expects that EVs will make money for the company.

Reporting by Eric Onstad Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman

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