Ceramic Industry News

Molycorp to Commence Rare Earth Exploration Program

March 3, 2010
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Molycorp Minerals will undertake an exploration program to better delineate the existence and extent of various bastnasite, monazite and other rare earth-bearing mineral deposits known to exist outside the current mining area on the company’s property and claims at Mountain Pass, Calif.

Molycorp Minerals, LLC recently announced that its board of directors has approved an exploration program to be carried out in 2010 and 2011 for the purpose of better delineating the existence and extent of various bastnasite, monazite and other rare earth-bearing mineral deposits known to exist outside the current mining area on the company’s property and claims at Mountain Pass, Calif. According to the company, it has been known for decades that rare earth mineralization occurs on other areas of its property in the form of various rare earth-bearing carbonate and phosphate minerals, including both bastnasite and monazite. However, the need was never felt to further delineate the extent of other deposits on the property because of the mineral content in the primary rare earth ore body.

“Molycorp and the U.S. Geological Survey verified the existence of widespread occurrences of both bastnasite and monazite outcrops and deposits across a broad area of the property as early as the 1950s,” said Mark A. Smith, CEO. “While largely forgotten over time, the existence of these occurrences is well documented.”

Although the primary ore body that has been mined at Mountain Pass for the last 57 years contains economically recoverable heavy rare earth elements such as dysprosium and terbium, and the company intends to produce certain heavy rare earth products (including dysprosium and terbium) from that deposit, it is primarily a bastnasite deposit. Recent preliminary testing has verified the existence of monazite deposits on the property, which are known to contain a higher percentage of the heavy rare earth elements. The company’s preliminary testing has shown that the dysprosium content in the monazite deposits on the property is substantially higher than in the bastnasite deposits.

Molycorp is currently producing finished rare earth products from feedstocks that were stockpiled at the site from previous mining campaigns while it prepares to modernize its processing facilities and restart active mining of fresh ore. The company plans to be in full production in the second half of 2012, when it will begin producing at the rate of forty million pounds of finished rare earth products per year.

For more information, call (303) 843-8040 or visit www.Molycorp.com.

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