A carbothermic reduction method is provided for reducing a La-, Ce-, MM-, and/or Y-containing oxide in the presence of carbon and a source of a reactant element comprising Si, Ge, Sn, Pb, As, Sb, Bi, and/or P to form an intermediate alloy material including a majority of La, Ce, MM, and/or Y and a minor amount of the reactant element. The intermediate material is useful as a master alloy for in making negative electrode materials for a metal hydride battery, as hydrogen storage alloys, as master alloy additive for addition to a melt of commercial Mg and Al alloys, steels, cast irons, and superalloys; or in reducing Sm.sub.2O.sub.3 to Sm metal for use in Sm--Co permanent magnets.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
 This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-AC02-07CH11358 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.