The Project Phoenix modernization and expansion of the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Facility recently achieved four major milestones. Molycorp says it’s on track to achieve a Phase 1 production rate in the fourth quarter of this year, and mechanical completion of Phase 2 facilities by the end of this year.

The four milestones include:

  1. Maintaining a Deep Commitment to Worker Safety: Recently, Project Phoenix exceeded 3.5 million project hours without a Lost Time Incident (LTI)—a truly extraordinary achievement. It also recently surpassed 2,600 days at the Mountain Pass facility without a Lost Time Incident—that’s more than seven years.
  2. Operating as the World’s Low-cost Producer: The on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant has begun feeding low-cost, high efficiency electrical power and steam to plants and buildings across the Mountain Pass facility. Installing CHP technologies at Mountain Pass reduces costs and emissions.
  3. Deploying Assets: The startup of the new Project Phoenix will produce heavy rare earth concentrate, which contains the full range of heavy rare earth elements, such as samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, and others. Because of its acquisition of facilities owned by the former Neo Material Technologies, Molycorp has the ability to proceed directly to separation and purification of that concentrate into many high-purity, custom engineered heavy rare earth products.
  4. Keeping its Cash Position Strong—The company recently closed on a financing package that provided the company with more than $528 million.

Keeping such a large and complex project on schedule, especially when it introduces many new and disruptive technologies, is a challenge. But Molycorp said its team is on the verge of delivering on that promise and making history in four quarter of 2012.