Citing depressed pricing for rare earth elements, Molycorp said it will transition its Mountain Pass rare earth facility to a care and maintenance mode. The company said that rare earth production will be suspended no later than October 20, and the site, including idled machinery and equipment, will be maintained to ensure it remains in a safe and stable condition, and that government regulatory commitments can be met.
Molycorp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during June. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court refused Molycorp’s original request after Oaktree Capital Management objected to the plan. The court eventually allowed Molycorp to move forward with $130 million in interim financing provided by Oaktree to support going operations.
Molycorp plans to continue serving its rare earth oxide customers via its production facilities in Estonia and China. Production for the company’s rare earth magnetic materials, as well as its rare earth-based water treatment products, will not be impacted.