Jack Lifton on MP Materials (Molycorp) Return
“Molycorp spent $1.8 billion to redevelop the (Mountain Pass) mine and vertically integrate that output through a separation plant to salable, separated rare earths products. It didn’t work. At the end they were not able to operate the separation plant, Project Phoenix, and the company shutdown because it ran out of money.” States critical materials expert Jack Lifton, in an interview with the Technology Metals Show hostess Tracy Weslosky.
Jack went on to say, “Two years later a company that became MP Materials purchased the mine and the refinery project from the bankruptcy trustee and they began to operate it as a mine. In the last 12 months that mine has produced 50,000 tons of rare earths concentrate containing 12,000 tons of rare earths included in which are about 2000 tons of magnet metals, neodymium and praseodymium, which could make 6000 tons of magnets.”
In the interview Tracy and Jack discussed some of the challenges awaiting MP Materials in becoming a vertically integrated domestic rare earths company. Jack also provided an update on Lynas and explained how it will be affected as MP Materials progresses with its plan.
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