Rare Earths MMI®: Molycorp Nearly Doubles Production at Mountain Pass

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Molycorp, Inc. reported that rare earth production in the fourth quarter of 2014 at its Mountain Pass, Calif., facility increased year-on-year and nearly doubled that of the preceding quarter.

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Mountain Pass completed Q4 of 2014 with 1,328 metric tons  of rare earth oxide equivalent production. That compares to 1,034 mt in Q4 of 2013 and 691 mt in Q3 of 2014. Full year 2014 production totaled 4,785 mt, compared to 3,473 mt in 2013.

This was welcome good news for the rare earths miner after it hired law firm Jones Day earlier this year for restructuring advice.

Company officials said that the higher production volumes they expect at Mountain Pass in 2015 should coincide with relatively strong demand.

The week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI®, terbium oxide jumped 13.4% to close at CNY 3,800 ($608.05) per kilogram. Samarium oxide rose 12.5% over the past week to CNY 18,000 ($2,880) per metric ton. In the past week, the price of terbium metal shot up 10.0% to CNY 4,400 ($704.06) per kilogram.

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Finishing at CNY 1,800 ($288.02) per kilogram for the week, europium oxide climbed 9.1% increase. With a 8.1% climb, neodymium claimed the week’s largest gain, settling at CNY 385,000 ($61,605) per metric ton. Neodymium closed last week at CNY 385,000 ($61,605) per metric ton, after a 8.1% rise in price. A 6.4% jump caught the week’s heaviest change for dysprosium oxide.

One of the big movers this week was praseodymium neodymium oxide, which shot up 4.2% to reach CNY 300,000 ($48,004) per metric ton. Lanthanum oxide prices climbed to CNY 13,500 ($2,160) per metric ton, up from CNY 13,000 ($2,072) a week ago. Yttria gained a slight 2.9% this past week, finishing at CNY 35,000 ($5,600) per metric ton. At CNY 12,500 ($2,000) per metric ton, the price of cerium oxide did not change since the previous week.

Closing at CNY 400,000 ($64,005) per metric ton, praseodymium oxide remained unchanged for the week. At CNY 25,000 ($4,000) per metric ton, the week finished with no movement for rare earth carbonate. Yttrium traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 270.00 ($43.20) per kilogram.

The Rare Earths MMI® collects and weights 14 global rare earth metal price points to provide a unique view into rare earth metal price trends. For more information on the Rare Earths MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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