Molycorp To Idle Production At Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine

Molycorp, Inc. announced on August 26 that it will transition its Mountain Pass Rare Earth Facility to a “care and maintenance” mode while it plans to continue serving its rare earth oxide customers via its production facilities in Estonia and China. Customers of the company‚Äôs rare earth magnetic materials, as well as its rare earth-based water treatment products, will not be impacted, the company said.
Rare earth production at the Mountain Pass facility will be suspended no later than October 20, 2015, and the site, including machinery and equipment, will be maintained to ensure it remains in a safe and stable condition, so government regulatory commitments can be met.
Rare earth pricing, which has declined dramatically over the past four years, was a key factor in the decision to suspend rare earth production at Mountain Pass, company officials said.
Rare earth minerals, also known as rare earth metals, are a set of seventeen chemical elements, specifically scandium, yttrium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, gadolinium, europium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, and ytterbium. They have a number of critical industrial and technical uses and applications, including serving as components in mercury-vapor lamps. high-temperature superconductors, lasers, microwave filters, high refractive index glass, hybrid electrical vehicles, flint products, battery-electrodes, camera lenses, carbon arc lighting, didymium glass used in welding goggles, ceramic capacitors, nuclear batteries, rare-earth magnets, memory chips, red and blue phosphors, gx-ray machines and infrared lasers.
Molycorp is being advised by the investment banking firm of Miller Buckfire & Co. and is receiving financial advice from AlixPartners, LLP. Jones Day and Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor LLP are legal counsel to the company.

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