Molycorp, Inc. announced that its new state-of-the-art rare earth manufacturing complex in Mountain Pass, California, USA, has begun ramping up to its full-scale “Phase 1” run rate. The company expects that with an orderly ramp up of production it will reach or exceed its Phase 1 run rate of 19,050 metric tons per year of rare earth oxide equivalent (REO) by mid-year.
The complex is designed to be able to allow for expanded production to a “Phase 2” rate of as much as 40,000 metric tons per year of rare earth oxide equivalent. The decision to complete Phase 2 construction and start-up will not be made until market demand, product pricing, capital availability, and financial returns justify additional increases in production beyond Phase 1.
Largest reserves of rare earths are in China, smaller ones in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; former Soviet Republics), the US, and Australia. Most of the global production is in China.
- Molycorp, Inc., Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA