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Molycorp invested $ 1 billion to restart the production of rare-earth minerals
AUTHOR: Jiangxi Shicheng    DATE:26 Nov 2012 11:34:17

From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, 15th, near the Nevada State line along Interstate Highway was erected on "California mountain pass" clearly marked. Little known is that above that seem a bit old mottled pink building embodies an extraordinary business stories, involving State secrets, China's monopoly in the field of rare-earth, as well as a company to reshape United States has dominated the mining industry efforts.There is called molycorp, a United States mining company. Molycorp since the 50 's of the last century has been in the United States Perth, California mountain mine open pit extraction separation of light rare-earth elements. Given the expensive purification, coupled with competition from cheap Chinese resources, the mine closed in 2002.
The company now spends nearly $ 1 billion in the Perth hills to restart mine production planning, in this desperate in their attempts to United States industries to rehabilitation. Rare earth Super Magnet used to produce work in the heat, the magnets are widely used in high-tech applications, from the positioning of the missile system to power turbines are fluorescent bulb to the car tradition.In fact it can be said that, rare earth metals are not "rare", it is named after the "rare earth", because of its wide distribution in the crust, but the concentration is very low, is often difficult to achieve economic and sexual exploitation. Currently 17 known rare earth elements often exist in different proportions in the same deposit. China is the largest supplier of rare earths in the world, but in the past 20 years a lot of supply causing prices to decline, and eventually forced the Perth hills mine closed in 2002. China now accounts for 97% of the rare earth metals market share.However, China's rare earths are key elements of the Government last year, applications due to its low cost of shifting production to high-tech use, sharp decline in exports, the entire rare earth prices from 2009 to 2010, jumped 15 times times, reaching unprecedented heights. Especially heavy such as terbium and dysprosium rare earths export prices last summer were up to the top.Morley companies hoping to profit from rare earth shortage, because in Denver backed by a $ 1 billion private equity fund, molycorp began in October in California's plant sale of rare earths, subsequently announced that third quarter net income of $ 43.7 million.
Over a year ago, their net loss of $ 10.1 million.But the business operation is not easy. C e o Mark Smith working in the plant for 25 years now, Denver based company listed last year, raised $ 3. $ 7.9 billion of funds. But Molly's stock this year, May rise to the top of every $ 77 a share, measured by listing shares, it can be said that this is the most successful IPO of 2010.Since then, however, this $ 3 billion of stocks suddenly suffered a collapse, by 56%. why? Re "crisis" has also spawned a crude gold rush story. Mineral resource-rich countries such as Australia, and Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, Afghanistan has joined the market. Australia industrial mining company, well-known mineral resources prediction Dali·jinsinuosi its rare earth three years lowered market expectations of demand 2015. securities traders are now talking about is "the rare earth bubble". Japan or manufacturers in other countries are worried about the supply of raw materials from China can secure, and actively develop the search in order to find effective alternatives to rare earths, but it also had to take a few years. Accumulation of these bad messages one by one, molycorp this once highly sought after company now looks more like a dollar pile of rolling dice, is full of risks.
Smith not plagued by these issues. Yes, suppliers are eager to flood the market, he argues, "we don't see any signs that market balance between this year and 2015. "Smith shape rough, hair iron gray, wearing fashionable narrow-rimmed glasses, looks like a United States Rugby Union coach. He originally was a promising defensive back, ready to go to the United States, Colorado School of mines football, yet but a knee surgery ended his football career after graduating from Colorado, he got a law degree from Western State University in California, then serve in mining law.Smith stood on the field, where 500 feet, was buried with rich mineral deposits. Along the terraces on both sides, among the rocks of deposit of rare earths in reddish-brown and bare. In 1948, the two deposits of uranium prospectors discovered mountain pass, and the formation of a United States of molybdenum company. But at that time rare earth was of little value until the late 50 color television, phosphorus is used to highlight the screen, causing prices to soar. During the early 80, United States production is 40,000 tonnes a year. But in China, especially in Western China, in Inner Mongolia, yields will soon catch up. "As the Chinese say, the Middle East had oil, China had rare earths. ”Cheap Chinese rare earths once occupied a large market, molycorp had to close their mines, Chevron's acquisition of the company granted in 2005 for Unocal oil company.
After 3 years, luosi·bapu resources investment fund spent $ 1 billion investment, led by mining and employment management reorganized molycorp Smith. Bap had previously run mining giant Newman mine. They can be described as eye: no one expected in 2009, the concept of a group of chemical elements is nothing people insight into tightening exports of rare earths in China.China's exports of about 24,000 metric tons this year, than last year's 3.80,000 metric ton has declined. Other parts of the world take approximately 5.70,000 tonnes. Operating in the mineral-rich ore storage alone molycorp's production this year could hit 5,500 to 6,600 tons. Rest 2.70,000 tons of gaps, Smith believes the right price inflation in the years ahead.Smith's confidence in part from a stable client base. "We each full barrel to ensure a customer. "He said. More important is, if China continues to export less, all rare earth products may be left to the domestic market in China, while the demand for this is equivalent to nearly 60% of the world. Only about US $ 500 million is left for other parts of the world market.In August, molycorp has opened an Office in Tokyo, where most of its biggest customer had set up headquarters. Companies were quick to reinforce many industry observers have found the biggest shortcoming, most ores rich in light over the mountain pass rare earth, but the real world is scarce to rare earths, its highest price, including of terbium, dysprosium, europium, and a few other classes.
In September, JPMorgan analyst downgraded shortly after Molly stock levels, the company announced that its place near the mountain pass a few miles to find a new mineral deposits, has a wealth of heavy rare earths, and molycorp has it right."You can count on the rich supply of heavy rare earth elements," molycorp Corporate Communications Department Vice Chairman jimu·ximusi said, "terbium and dysprosium (resource) is critical to the discovery. It will increase the amount of supply of the most used items. ”Rare earth element typically is found in both, generally light rare earth elements far more than the total number of heavy rare earth elements. Light rare earth elements and heavy rare earth elements are used in the manufacture of LCD, compact fluorescent lamps and batteries for hybrid cars and wind turbines with a strong magnet. Applications in hybrid cars and arms you need to add atomic weights more elements in order to maintain good magnetic properties under high temperature conditions.