Molycorp has completed the installation of an expanded leach system, including additional tanks, to address bottlenecks while boosting production at their rare earth production facility at Mountain Pass, California.
Near-term operations, they noted, will be limited owing to on-site production constraints and limited market availability of hydrochloric acid (Hcl). However, representatives noted, expansions should lower operating costs upon full operation; HC1 availability is forecast to improve by Q4 2014 and beyond.
The on-site Chlor-Alkali facility, meanwhile, is operational with output pending increases as engineers continue working on brine feedstock-related issues, according to Molycorp. In particular, this involves wastewater producing Hcl and other reagents, which have been impacting production.
“Expanding our leach system is significant to increase production and to reduce operating costs,” said Molycorp CEO Geoff Bedford. “We remain committed to building a global company that produces rare earth materials in an environmentally superior way at a cost competitive with any other producer.”