Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE:MCP) today announced the start-up of its new Project Phoenix heavy rare earth concentrate facilities at Mountain Pass, California, which will produce heavy rare earth concentrate from freshly mined Mountain Pass ore that will then be processed into high-purity, custom-engineered heavy rare earth products in Molycorp’s globally integrated production facilities.
Molycorp also announced that its on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant will begin feeding low-cost, high efficiency electrical power and steam this week to its Mountain Pass facilities. Molycorp's CHP plant is fueled by clean-burning natural gas fed to the facility by a recently completed natural gas lateral supply line that connects the facility to a nearby interstate natural gas pipeline operated by Kern River Gas Transmission Company.
“We have launched operations of Project Phoenix’s heavy rare earth concentrate facilities on schedule, our combined heat and power plant is set to begin powering our new facilities this week, and we remain on track to achieve full Phase 1 production rates at Mountain Pass in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Mark A. Smith, Molycorp’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "The heavy rare earth concentrate we will produce at Mountain Pass will support our production of a full range of high-purity, custom-engineered materials from light, medium, and heavy rare earths. Such vertical integration strongly positions Molycorp to compete successfully across multiple markets.”
Molycorp's heavy rare earth concentrate contains dysprosium, terbium, europium, and other elements that will be further processed by the Company into rare earth oxides, metals, alloys, and magnetic materials used in such technologies as hybrid electric vehicles, wind turbines, high efficiency appliances and motors, consumer electronics, and many other important applications.
Molycorp currently produces high-purity products from the following rare earths: Cerium, Lanthanum, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Erbium, Lutetium, and Ytterbium (with purity levels as high as 99.999% for some rare earth products). It also produces high-purity products from the following rare metals and transition metals: Gallium, Rhenium, Indium, Tantalum, Niobium, Zirconium, and Yttrium (with purities as high as 99.999999% for some of these products).