The facility will be used for the production of rare earth metal oxides.
The facility will be used for the production of rare earth metal oxides.

Molycorp has begun ramping up to its Phase 1 run rate of 19,050 metric tons per year (mt/year) of rare earth oxide equivalent (REO) by the middle of 2013.

Molycorp says that with an orderly ramp up of production it will reach or exceed this rate.

“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 Constantine Karayannopoulos, president and CEO of Molycorp. “I am very proud of the work of the entire Molycorp team in achieving this extraordinary milestone.”

The Mountain Pass complex is designed to eventually meet a rate of as much as 40,000 mt/year of rare earth oxide equivalent. However, Molycorp says 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 the increase in production.

With the combination of the new Phase 1 ramp-up schedule and current rare earth pricing environment, Molycorp anticipates lower-than-expected revenue and cash flow for 2013, and is evaluating its capital needs for 2013.