UPDATE 1-Molycorp posts loss on writedown, to cut jobs

Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:20pm EDT
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* Rare earth miner posts loss on writedown, costs

* Seasonal weakness expected in first half 2013

* CEO undertaking reorganization, cutting jobs

* Still expects Mountain Pass mine to be lowest cost producer

By Julie Gordon

March 14 (Reuters) - Molycorp Inc said on Thursday it planned to cut an unspecified number of jobs as it reported a fourth-quarter loss and booked an impairment charge related to its 2012 takeover of rare earth processer Neo Material Technologies.

The miner, hit by lower rare earth prices and higher costs, said it will take a goodwill impairment charge of $258.3 million in the fourth quarter related to the $1.3 billion takeover.

The company also warned performance in the first half of 2013 would be slightly weaker than the second half of 2012, mainly due to seasonal variation. Things should improve in the second half of the year, as a output ramps up at a new processing plant at the Mountain Pass mine in California.

Molycorp expects to hit commercial production at the historic project, which is undergoing a $1.25 billion revitalization, in mid-2013.   Continued...