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MP Materials profit more than doubles on higher rare earths prices

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FILE PHOTO: A view of the MP Materials rare earth open-pit mine in Mountain Pass
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(Reuters) -Rare earths miner MP Materials Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday due to rising demand and prices for the materials used to make electric vehicles and a range of consumer goods.

The Las Vegas-based company posted second-quarter net income of $73.3 million, or 38 cents per share, compared to $27.2 million, or 15 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding stock-based compensation expenses and other one-time items, MP earned 43 cents per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 33 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Rare earths are a grouping of 17 metals used to make magnets found in motors that turn electricity into motion. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of rare earths and rare earth magnets.

MP processes rock that it extracts from its Mountain Pass mine in California into rare earth oxides. The company produced 10,300 tonnes of those oxides during the quarter, nearly even to the year-ago period.

Those oxides are sent to China https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-rareearths-insight-idUKKCN2241KF where they are further processed into neodymium and other rare earth metals, which are used to make magnets for a range of electronics. There are no U.S.-based options for this final round of rare earths processing.

The price MP received per tonne for its oxides rose more than 90% to $13,918 per tonne amid rising demand, especially from the EV industry.

The company said it hopes to be able to process its own metals in California by the end of the year and that a facility under construction in Texas to build rare earth magnets https://www.yahoo.com/video/general-motors-sets-rare-earth-144916877.html for General Motors Co "is rapidly taking shape."

Shares rose slightly to $35.36 in after-hours trading.

MP's executives plan to host a quarterly conference call on Thursday afternoon to discuss the results.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Howard Goller and Daniel Wallis)