Molycorp sets celebration April 20 to mark launch of rare-earth plan

Colorado-based Molycorp will hold a groundbreaking celebration and barbecue April 20 at its rare-earth mine in Mountain Pass, Calif., to commemorate the launch of its effort to ramp up production from the facility.

As I mentioned here recently, “[Molycorp] is now executing plans to dramatically increase output from the mine, from a current level of 3,000-5,000 metric tons per year to 20,000 metric tons per year by the end of 2012 and as much as 40,000 metric tons/year by 2013.  That would be a major addition in a global market where demand for rare-earth oxides is currently 125,000 metric tons/year.”

While rare-earth minerals are not critical to the manufacture of wind turbines, a number of turbine designs do utilize them, and as wind manufacturers strive to keep costs low, it is good for them to have as wide an array of design choices available as possible.

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