ERP Strategic Minerals was selected as the stalking horse bidder by the Chapter 11 trustee for Molycorp Minerals and entered into an asset purchase agreement with the trustee to purchase the assets and the surface property rights at the Mountain Pass rare earth minerals mine.
Located in San Bernardino County, California, approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas, Mountain Pass is the only mine and processing facility for rare earths minerals in the United States. The mine has an operating history dating back to the 1950s and was most recently placed on care and maintenance after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015.
If ERP is successful in purchasing the Mountain Pass mine through the bankruptcy sale process, the company said it will work collaboratively with San Bernardino County, the California state agencies, and other regulatory stakeholders to complete the necessary technical studies and restart plan to return the mine to sustainable operations. Recognizing the Mountain Pass mine as a strategic US mining asset, ERP said it intends to manage its operations as a long-term sustainable business based on high environmental standards.
“Our goal is to return the Mountain Pass mine and mineral processing operation into a viable, sustainable and environmentally responsible business,” Tom Clarke, CEO of ERP, said.
Pala investments and Peak Resources will assist with restarting the Mountain Pass mining and processing operations. Both reportedly have deep industry knowledge in the rare earths sector and substantial specialist mining expertise.
ERP Strategic Minerals is part of the ERP Group of companies, which has successfully completed five acquisitions out of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in the past two years.