Aug 5 (Reuters) - U.S. rare earths miner MP Materials Corp
posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on
Thursday on rising prices for the minerals used to make high-end
electronics and weaponry.
Shares rose 5% to $38 in after-hours trading.
The company, which relies on China to process rare earths
from its California mine, reported second-quarter profit of
$27.2 million, or 15 cents per share, compared to a net loss of
$62.5 million, or 92 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter
when it was a private company.
Excluding one-time items, MP earned 17 cents per share. By
that measure, analysts expected earnings of 13 cents per share,
according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Sales of rare earth oxides fell about 4% due in part to
shipment timings, but that was offset by a 137% price increase.
Currently, MP lightly processes rare earths it extracts from
California's Mountain Pass mine and ships the material to China
for separation into various rare earth metals because there are
no U.S.-based options.
The U.S. government has funded the Las Vegas-based company
in part to help bring processing back to the country, where the
rare earths industry had its genesis in the mid-20th Century.
MP expects to be producing roughly 6,000 tonnes of the rare
earth metals neodymium and praseodymium in California annually
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder
Editing by Chris Reese, Sonya Hepinstall and David Gregorio)