Molycorp, Inc. ( MCP)

Analyst Day Conference Call

October 20, 2011 1:43 PM ET


Mark A. Smith – CEO

John Bassett – SVP, Operations

John L. Burba – EVP and Chief Technology Officer

Doug Jackson – SVP Business Development and Sales/Marketing

Jim Allen – CFO


Mark A. Smith

[Abrupt Start] ...this year. China, if we’re doing an apples-to-apples basis is putting about 21,000 to 22,000 tons of material out in the market for the rest of the world. Molycorp is producing somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 tons this year. That leaves a very substantial deficit. That isn’t changing. The client demand numbers are what they are and they not changing. And we’re going to continue to see the supply deficit affecting the markets.

All the access in China, they speak for themselves. They’re continuing to reduce their export quotas. They’re actually been forcing production quotas. And this is something new in 2011. China (inaudible) production quotas they issue in countries for years and they’ve never really been enforced and now they’re enforcing it. They shut down three lines in the South China play area. And then metals shutdown voluntarily.

I’ve got a report yesterday the (inaudible) materials, they’ve shutdown their operations in China. They may keep those operations shutdown until the end of the Chinese New Year. So we’re starting to see this production quota issue really come home to a lot of these produce. And, of course, we saw Valco [ph] make the announcement and I think it was early this week, the largest producer in the world that they’re going to shutdown for a month. And that’s not production quota issue. That’s what they want to do to keep the pricing environment a little higher. So all of that continues and we don’t expect the year’s export quota reduction to stop in the near future.

It’s the Chinese third debut in January of 2011 in a conference in Vancouver showing what they think of their demand growth in-country. And, of course, we’ve got this demand growth in China that’s largely responsible for why they continue to reduce export quotas. They have their own needs that they need to met.

I think this slide is really representative of what higher growth we expect and what kind of adjustments they have to make in their system in-country to make sure they meet those growth demands.

Molycorp has grown a lot over the last year. You know, we kind of started out with (inaudible) facility in the headquarters office and the folks in Denver Colorado we now have a metals and alloy facility in Talis in Arizona, so we own the Silmet’s facility that’s called Molycopr and Silmet’s with Silmet’s in Estonia. And we’ve just recently opened up an office in Tokyo and Japan to provide more customer service to a very, very large market there. That’s always been about 50% in Molycorp’s sales and Japan is the largest (inaudible) user outside of China.

So it’s a very important market to us and many times as we all – as management team travel to Tokyo, it’s not enough. The Japanese culture is one where they like a lot of (inaudible) faces with their suppliers so we got to have people on the ground that we are faced with in every single day, we are seeing extremely positive results from that already.

We continue to build the story that, the kind of three things that you got to have in the rare earth industry to be successful, one is you have to have a substantial amount of ore grade. Nothing pass [ph] of course is a world class composite of average ore grade 8.24%. You have to have the ability to take the ore out of the ground, process it into the individual rare development. Molycorp has almost 50 years of history on that and those are number two that we’ve now been running at a commercial scale out of this plan which you will drive through today, some new process technologies fore ore [ph], for yourselves.

And that’s provided us not only with a de-risking demonstration for these new technologies but maybe more importantly than that, we have operated on a fair amount; we have four more years of experience in this rare earth processing. And outside of China, those are the only operators that have been processing these materials for the last four years. So we think that that’s a real plus for Molycorp.

And then finally, and this is one that doesn’t really gets talked about a lot but you have to be able to meet your customer’s specs [ph]. Every customer has a different specification for their rare earth product if they want. So out of the difficulty of meeting customer specs that actually goes to the issue of radiation and Molycorp knows how to meet the radiation specifications for their customers and we can actually shift materials to Japan and they can accept because it meets their radiation specifications.

Low radiation specifications have gotten very, very tight in the last 10 years. Just about two years ago, the specifications of (inaudible) per gram is now 0.8 (inaudible) per gram. That’s actually radiation levels that are below background in almost every place in the world. So that’s how difficult it is to meet customer specifications in the products. And we’ve got the 60 years of experience here that allowed us to do that.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on

If you liked this article you might like

Molycorp (MCP) Stock Sinking on Expectation of Loan Payment Miss

Molycorp (MCP) Stock Sinking on Expectation of Loan Payment Miss

How to Trade the Market's Most-Active Stocks

How to Trade the Market's Most-Active Stocks

Molycorp (MCP) Stock Continues to Gain Following Wednesday’s Siemens Supply Deal

Molycorp (MCP) Stock Continues to Gain Following Wednesday’s Siemens Supply Deal

Today's Pre-Market Mover With Heavy Volume: Molycorp (MCP)

Today's Pre-Market Mover With Heavy Volume: Molycorp (MCP)

Molycorp (MCP): Today's Weak On High Volume Stock

Molycorp (MCP): Today's Weak On High Volume Stock