DN Insight: What Rare Earth Shortages Mean for Engineers, Part 3

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Re: In pursuit of alternatives
windward   4/28/2012 9:47:57 PM
A good paper on rare earth supply by Cindy Hurst at


lists several misconceptions about the situation:

Misconception #12: Mountain Pass stopped producing rare earth elements in 2002

Mountain Pass has never stopped producing rare earth elements in the facility's almost 58 years of operation. However, in 2002 mining of fresh ore to feed the processing systems came to a halt due to a lack of tailings basin capacity and of a new permit to expand the old basin or build a new one. After numerous upgrades and revisions to resolve the issues, Molycorp is poised to restart mining of fresh ore as early as 2011 to ensure its mill can be fed by the middle of 2012.

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