Molycorp, Inc.has announced that the chloralkali plant at Mountain Pass, Calif., is now mechanically complete and that full-scale commissioning operations have commenced.
The chloralkali plant will recycle wastewater and produce hydrochloric acid and caustic soda used as part of the rare earth separations process. Company officials said that once fully operational and optimized, the chloralkali plant is expected to help the facility achieve its cash production cost targets, which the Company believes will make it competitive with the lowest cost producers globally.
The Company also confirmed that the final unit of its multi-stage cracking plant at Mountain Pass is now mechanically complete and is being commissioned. The unit is part of a multi-stage chemical process designed to increase the facility’s current rare earth recovery rates, increase production throughput, and contribute to lower unit production costs.
“These are the last major construction activities of Project Phoenix, the re-build of Mountain Pass, and we expect these units to be commissioned and enter into production in the fourth quarter of 2013,” said Constantine Karayannopoulos, president and CEO of Molycorp. “Bringing these units online will help us focus on increasing production while continuing to reduce our production costs.”