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General Motors and General Electric have signed an agreement to work together to develop a supply chain of rare earths and other minerals used to make electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment.Steve Marcus/Reuters

General Motors Co and General Electric Co said on Wednesday they plan to study ways they could develop a supply chain of rare earths and other minerals used to make electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment.

Both companies signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate how they could work together to improve access to rare earths and rare earth magnets, as well as copper and steel.

No money changed hands between the companies and no decisions have been made on any steps the partners could take together, such as whether to build a manufacturing plant or mine.

The automaker said it would work with General Electric on opportunities in North America, where both companies are headquartered, as well as Europe.

“While we do not have a definitive timeframe for implementing it, working with GM gives us another tool to obtain reliable, sustainable and competitive sources of key materials,” General Electric said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Metal alloys and finished magnets produced from rare earth materials are critical parts used in manufacturing electric motors for automotive and renewable power generation.

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