Mining firm gets permission to search for rare earths elements

Mining company Molycorp reported that the company has permission from
the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to look for rare earths metals at a
location near its mine at Mountain Pass.

“This is an important milestone in our heavy rare earth strategy, and
we expect to begin drilling immediately,” Molycorp CEO Mark A. Smith
said in a statement. “We anticipate results from the drilling program
in the second quarter of 2012.”

Mountain Pass is near the 15 Freeway on San Bernardino County’s side of
the Nevada State Line. Molycorp’s mine there is the only place in the
United States where rare earths metals are extracted from the earth.

Molycorp’s preliminary exploration of the site shows a relatively high
percentage of heavy rare earths metals including terbium, dysprosium,
europium and samariam. Rare earths metals have a variety of high-tech
applications.

Mojave Desert mining firm signs labor deal

Molycorp, Inc., the mining firm that operates a rare earths metals mine in the San Bernardino County desert, announced Monday that the company has agreed to a three-year contract with United Steelworkers members working at the mine.

Molycorp’s mine is at Mountain Pass, near the Nevada state line. The mine is the only place in the United States where the natural elements known as rare earths metals are extracted from the ground.

China leads the world in rare earths production. The elements are used to manufacture powerful magnets and components in many products, such as smart phones and missiles.

Molycorp is headquartered in Colorado.