Molycorp is continuing to increase its Project Phoenix expansions operations at its Mountain Pass, California, facility, and remains on schedule to achieve a Phase 1 operational rate of 19,050 metric tons (mt) per year in the fourth quarter of 2012. To date, 80% of Project Phoenix facilities are at Phase 1 or greater than Phase 1 operational capabilities.

Molycorp sold 4,391 mt of product across its business segments in the third quarter of 2012, including: 2,768 mt of rare earth oxide equivalent products at an average sales price of US$43.45 per kilogram (kg); 1,527 mt of bonded magnet powders and alloys at an average sales price of US$48.98 per kg; and 96 mt of rare metals at an average sales price of US$269.22 per kg.
 
“As we execute our global vertical integration plan, we will continue to see solid revenue from our Molycorp Canada operations," said Mark Smith, president and CEO. “This should result in higher sales and gross margins, and both improved and sustainable bottom-line performance, due to our low-cost production and our access to markets that require high value, specialty-engineered materials." 
 
Smith also noted that Molycorp is seeing customer demand beginning to stabilize. “We have customer agreements in place, or are in advanced discussions and product qualification efforts with customers, on sales in excess of our Phase 1 capacity," he explained. "In the Lanthanum and NdPr markets, we are seeing demand that will move us into Phase 2 production relatively quickly.  With cerium, our commercialization of SorbXTMproducts continues to gain traction in the marketplace."
 
With regard to global trends, Smith said output from China continues to be significantly reduced. According to Molycorp, Chinese government officials are stepping up their efforts to enforce tougher environmental regulation and to curb illegal mining. These efforts, Smith said, are putting pressure on production. "In addition, a growing number of China's largest producers have either halted operations or are in the process of halting production, including Baotou Steel Rare-Earth, China Minmetals, Chalco Rare Earth, and China Nonferrous Metals. Government and industry leaders in China acknowledge that these and other actions are being implemented for the express purpose of stabilizing or strengthening prices for all rare earth products.”
 
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