US Molycorp starts up rare earth complex in California

10 January 2013 15:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Molycorp has started up a new rare earth complex in Mountain Pass, California, and is ramping up production, the US-based rare earth and rare metals firm said on Thursday.

Molycorp said that in a first phase it expects to achieve a production run rate of 19,050 tonnes/year of rare earth oxide equivalent (REO) by mid-2013.

In a second phase, production at Mountain Pass can be expanded to as much as 40,000 tonnes/year of REO.

However, a decision to complete second-phase construction will not be made until market demand, product pricing, capital availability, and financial returns justify additional increases in production, the company added. Financial details were not disclosed.

"Mountain Pass is the world's largest, most technologically advanced and most environmentally responsible rare earth manufacturing complex ever built, and reaching operational status is a historic event,” said CEO Constantine Karayannopoulos.

The company added that it expects its revenues and cashflow for 2013 to be lower than expected, and that it is evaluating its capital requirements for the year. 

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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