Molycorp, Inc. recently announced that 78% of its Phase 1 rare earth production from its new Mountain Pass, California, USA, manufacturing facility, which comes online in 2012, has now been secured by signed customer agreements or has been committed to production of the company’s XSORBX™ water treatment products.

The company has entered into written agreements with customers covering 58% of its Phase I production, and has allocated an additional 20% to production of XSORBX™, for a total of 78% of the 19,050 metric tons (mt) of rare earth oxide (REO) equivalent that it intends to produce annually under Phase 1 at its flagship Mountain Pass rare earth facility. Exact terms, prices, duration and products covered by these agreements vary from customer to customer. Another 6% of Phase 1 production is in final stage discussions with customers, according to the company.

“I am very pleased that we have met the Phase 1 off-take allocation target that we set for 2011, and have found a home for more than three-quarters of our Phase 1 production prior to start-up,” said Mark A. Smith, president and CEO of Molycorp. “In an industry that traditionally has been driven by spot sales, Molycorp continues to break ground by moving customers to stable, secure, long-term supply contracts.

“Securing long-term rare earth sales contracts requires the ability to produce and deliver actual product to customers for extensive testing, qualification, and fine tuning so that precise specifications can be met,” Smith said. “This process can take many weeks, even months, to complete. I am very pleased with our progress to date in working with our customers to ensure we can serve as a reliable, long-term supplier of these strategic materials.”