Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP), the Western Hemisphere's only producer of rare earths, announced that it has secured the last of several environmental permits necessary to begin construction of its new, state-of-the-art rare earth manufacturing facility at Mountain Pass, California. Securing the permits is a major milestone in Molycorp's $531 million project to construct a complete rare earth mine-to-magnets manufacturing supply chain in the U.S.
The company recently secured a Streambed Alteration Agreement from the California Department of Fish and Game. Together with three previously approved permits, Molycorp now has secured all permits necessary to allow construction to start on its Mountain Pass modernization and expansion project. The project is expected to support an average of 700 jobs per day over the 18-month construction period, with an additional 200-300 permanent jobs when the new facility runs at full capacity, scheduled to occur by the end of 2012.
Mark Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Molycorp, said: "Securing these permits means that construction of our new rare earth manufacturing facility at Mountain Pass, California will proceed on schedule, with project groundbreaking occurring on January 2, 2011. Additionally, we have begun pre-stripping operations of the mine, which is preparing the way for active mining of fresh ore to commence in 2011."
Smith expressed his appreciation to San Bernardino County officials as well as to the California Department of Health Services, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Department of Fish and Game for working with Molycorp to finalize the permits. "We are especially proud of the working partnerships we have developed with San Bernardino County. The County conducted a very thorough permitting review but also managed the process in a highly efficient manner. Everyone in the county who worked with us in this effort deserves praise for their professionalism and dedication to the best interests of the County."
"We also are very pleased with the working relationships we have developed with officials across California's state government and at the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service," Smith said. "This project is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can work hand-in-hand to move our nation toward the twin goals of environmental superiority and increased competitiveness in rare earth production."
Colorado-based Molycorp, Inc. is the only rare earth oxide, or REO, producer in the Western Hemisphere and currently produces approximately 3,000 metric tons of commercial rare earth materials per year. Following the execution of the Company's "mine-to-magnets" strategy and completion of its modernization and expansion efforts at its Mountain Pass, Calif. processing facility in 2012, it expects to produce at a rate of 19,050 metric tons of REO equivalent per year and will offer a range of rare earth products, including high-purity oxides, metals, alloys, and permanent magnets.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that represent the Company's beliefs, projections and predictions about future events or its future performance. You can identify forward-looking statements 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 the Company'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: the Company's ability to secure sufficient capital to implement its business plans; the Company's ability to complete its modernization and expansion efforts and reach full planned production rates for REOs and other planned downstream products; uncertainties associated with the Company's reserve estimates and non-reserve deposit information; uncertainties regarding global supply and demand for rare earth materials; the Company's ability to maintain appropriate relations with unions and employees; the Company's ability to successfully implement its "mine-to-magnets" strategy; environmental laws, regulations and permits affecting the Company'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 the Company; uncertainties associated with unanticipated geological conditions related to mining; and other risks discussed in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2010, which filings are available from the SEC.
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