Project Phoenix, which began construction in January 2011, is our expansion and modernization project at our flagship Mountain Pass, California, rare earth resource and production facility. We are transforming Mountain Pass and creating the world’s most technologically advanced, energy efficient, and environmentally superior rare earth production facility.
All key production components of our new state-of-the-art rare earth manufacturing complex are up and operational, and we have begun ramping up to our full-scale “Phase 1” run rate. The project is anticipated to achieve a Phase 1 run rate of 19,050 metric tons (mt) of rare earth oxide equivalent (REO) per year by mid-2013.
Additionally, we have the capability to further expand our facilities to a Phase 2 production capacity of 40,000 mt REO. However, that production expansion will not occur until market demand, product pricing, capital availability, and financial returns justify additional increases in production beyond Phase 1.
Mountain Pass History
The facilities at Mountain Pass were originally built in the 1960s, when Molycorp was producing a variety of rare earth products, including the heavy rare earth europium for color television sets. In the 1970s and 80s, the facilities were expanded as Molycorp increased its product lines.
Beginning in 2004, our scientists and engineers began to re-think our processes. They ultimately created a wide variety of new and innovative process technologies that will revolutionize how we produce rare earths. From dramatic increases in recovery rates to the recycling and reuse of our wastewater, the advances will also lower our production costs and improve our environmental performance.
Recent Photo and Video Tours
To view photos of Project Phoenix’s progress or to take the video fly-over tour, please explore the links below: