UPDATE 3-Molycorp lowers 2013 outlook; shares plunge

Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:20pm EST
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* Delays commercial production at Mountain Pass to mid-2013

* Sees lower revenue due to delay, sagging prices

* Interim CEO to stay on for "months, perhaps quarters"

* Phase 2 expansion on hold until market demand supports

* Shares fall 21.8 percent (Adds interim CEO comment, updates shares)

By Julie Gordon

Jan 10 (Reuters) - Shares of Molycorp Inc tumbled on Thursday after the rare earth producer said 2013 revenue would come below estimates due to lower selling prices and a delay in achieving full production at its California processing plant.

The company now expects its Mountain Pass plant to achieve its Phase 1 commercial production rate of 19,050 tonnes of rare earth products a year by mid-2013, having failed to meet its 2012 year-end deadline.

The delay comes after a review of the planned start-up by interim Chief Executive Constantine Karayannopoulos, who stepped into the top job in December, replacing Mark Smith.   Continued...