Press release from Business Wire
Molycorp to Launch Sequential Start-up of New, State-of-the-Art Rare Earth Manufacturing Facility This Week
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (Business Wire) -- Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP) today announced that the sequential start-up of the new Project Phoenix rare earth manufacturing facility at its flagship Mountain Pass, California operation will begin this week and includes the following operations and plants:
An up-close photo of Molycorp's (MCP) Crushing Facility. (Photo: Business Wire)
- Active mining at a full mine production rate of approximately 2,800 short tons of fresh rare earth ore has been underway for several weeks.
- Mechanical completion of the new Crushing Facility has been achieved and fresh ore will be introduced.
- Mechanical completion of the initial Cracking Facility has been achieved, steam testing has been completed, and feedstock from stockpiled material will be fed into the system.
- Liquid natural gas (LNG) has been trucked to the site and offloaded into the onsite storage terminal. The LNG system associated with the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant will be pressurized and the first test firing of the turbines in the CHP plant will occur. LNG is being used for start-up operations until pipeline natural gas becomes available upon completion of current construction of a feeder line to the facility, expected to be completed in April of this year.
Other operations in the Project Phoenix facility that will be brought online over the coming months include the following: milling and mineral extraction; expanded cracking; impurities removal; rare earth oxide separations; product finishing; and paste tailings processing and storage.
“The launch of Project Phoenix's sequential start-up is occurring well ahead of our April 1 deadline, and represents the accomplishment of a critical milestone in our project,” said Mark A. Smith, Molycorp President and Chief Executive Officer. “When this new manufacturing facility is complete and running at full capacity, it will be the most technologically advanced, energy efficient, and environmentally superior rare earth facility in the world.”
Molycorp also confirmed that it remains on track to achieve its full Phase 1 annual production rate of 19,050 mt of rare earth oxide equivalent by the end of the third quarter of 2012. The Company's achievement of Phase 1 production will come three months ahead of the original Dec. 31, 2012 deadline that was set when the project was launched in 2010.
“I continue to be inspired and humbled by the dedication and hard work of our Molycorp family, and the more than 1,100 construction workers now building this new facility,” Smith said. “I could not be more proud of the Company's ability to achieve these critical milestones on an accelerated basis.”
The Company said that further updates regarding Project Phoenix will be provided in Molycorp's Q4 / year-end earnings announcement and conference call on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012.
About Molycorp, Inc.
With offices in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, Molycorp, Inc. is the only U.S-based company that is fully integrated across the rare earth mine-to-magnets supply chain. In addition to its current production of rare earth oxides at its flagship rare earth mine and processing facility at Mountain Pass, California, the Company produces rare earth metals, rare earth alloys (such as neodymium-iron-boron and samarium-cobalt alloys) and rare metals such as niobium and tantalum. The rare earths and rare metals Molycorp produces are critical inputs in existing and emerging applications including: clean energy technologies, such as hybrid and electric vehicles and wind power turbines; multiple high-tech uses, including fiber optics, lasers and hard disk drives; numerous defense applications, such as guidance and control systems and global positioning systems; advanced water treatment technology for use in industrial, military and outdoor recreation applications; and other technologies. For more information please visit http://www.molycorp.com.
Safe Harbor Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements that represent Molycorp's beliefs, projections, and predictions about future events or future performance. Forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions or phrases. These forward-looking statements are necessarily subjective and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause Molycorp's actual results, performance or achievements or industry results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievement described in or implied by such statements.
Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expected results described in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: Molycorp's ability to secure additional capital to implement its business plans; Molycorp's ability to complete its initial modernization and expansion efforts, including the accelerated start-up of the Mountain Pass facility, which management refers to as Project Phoenix Phase 1, and the second phase capacity expansion plan, which management refer to as Project Phoenix Phase 2, and reach full planned production rates for REOs and other planned downstream products; the final costs of the Project Phoenix Phase 1, including with accelerated start-up of the Mountain Pass facility, and Project Phoenix Phase 2, which may differ from estimated costs; uncertainties associated with Molycorp's reserve estimates and non-reserve deposit information; uncertainties regarding the results of exploratory drilling programs; uncertainties regarding global supply and demand for rare earths materials; Molycorp's ability to successfully integrate recently acquired businesses; our ability to enter into additional definitive agreements with our customers and our ability to maintain customer relationships; completion of the formation of the proposed sintered NdFeB rare earth magnet joint venture, which remains subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions; the proposed sintered NdFeB rare earth magnet joint venture's ability to successfully manufacture magnets within its expected timeframe; Molycorp's ability to maintain appropriate relations with unions and employees; Molycorp's ability to successfully implement its “mine-to-magnets” strategy; environmental laws, regulations and permits affecting Molycorp's business, directly and indirectly, including, among others, those relating to mine reclamation and restoration, climate change, emissions to the air and water and human exposure to hazardous substances used, released or disposed of by Molycorp; and uncertainties associated with unanticipated geological conditions related to mining.
For more information regarding these and other risks and uncertainties that Molycorp may face, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010 and of the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended March 31, 2011. Any forward-looking statement contained in this press release or the Annual Report on Form 10-K or the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q reflects Molycorp's current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to Molycorp's operations, operating results, growth strategy and liquidity. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as to the date when made. Molycorp assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future, except as otherwise required by applicable law.
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Jim Sims, +1 303-843-8062
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Brian Blackman, +1 303-843-8067
Senior Manager, Investor Relations