Molycorp breaks ground at Mountain Pass

Molycorp resumes mining in California and enters into agreement with Japan's Hitachi Metals Ltd

The move, blasting and extracting RE bearing bastnaesite ore in an open pit, brings back to life one of the world’s largest and richest deposits of rare earth minerals outside of China, and the timing would seem to be ideal.

Although Molycorp has been processing significant quantities of RE materials for the past three years from stockpiles at its Mountain Pass plant, RE demand has increased significantly in recent years and exports of RE from China, the only other main commercially developed source of RE, are declining year on year (see p.9).

Mark Smith, chief executive officer, Molycorp, said: “Resumption of active mining operations at Mountain Pass is actually occurring ahead of schedule, which underscores the fact that we are on track to meet our end-of-2012 deadline for achieving a full-scale production rate of 20,000 tpa of rare earth oxide equivalent.”

Groundbreaking of construction...


Mike O'Driscoll

January 26, 2011

00:00 GMT