Chevron Mining Inc. today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Mountain Pass rare earth mining operations to Rare Earth Acquisitions LLC. The transaction is expected to close in late September, 2008.
REA is a special purpose company owned by Resource Capital Funds, Pegasus Partners IV, LP, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Traxys North America LLC and Carint Group LLC. Included in the acquisition is the Molycorp name and upon closing, the company will be renamed Molycorp Minerals LLC.
Rare earth minerals are used in a wide variety of applications including catalysts for the oil refining industry, neodymium-iron-boron magnets which are used in high energy electric motors like those used in hybrid vehicles, and new high energy battery applications. Mountain Pass is the only significant developed commercial rare earths resource in the western world with enough resources to provide significant levels of global supply for 30 to 50 years. Located about 50 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada, the operation has produced and sold rare earth products continuously since 1951. In 2007, Chevron Mining Inc. commenced rare earth separations operations using lanthanum concentrates from existing stockpiles to produce didymium (a combination of neodymium and praseodymium) and lanthanum products.
The primary physical assets at Mountain Pass include the mine and ore resources, a flotation mill, and a specialty plant which refines the milled concentrate. Mountain Pass also has large stockpiles of bastnaesite concentrates located on the property. The Mountain Pass operations have an experienced and highly skilled work force, including on site operations personnel and a rare earth research and development team.