UPDATE 2-Molycorp warns of weak revenue, cash crunch; shares fall

Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:06pm EST
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* Estimates lower Q4; sees weak first-half 2013 output

* Sees additional $80 mln in costs for mine-expansion project

* Plans to raise $300 million from share, note sale

* Shares down 9 percent (Adds analyst comment, background)

By Maneesha Tiwari

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Rare earth producer Molycorp Inc warned of significantly lower revenue and cash flow for the first half of the year and said it will not generate enough money to fund the expansion of its main mine in California.

The company's shares fell 9 percent to $8.05 in afternoon trade. The stock has fallen 75 percent since touching a life-high of $35.75 in April as rare earth prices plunged.

The price of rare earths skyrocketed through 2010 and early 2011 as China, the producer of more than 95 percent of global supply, clamped down on exports. Prices have come down sharply since as the country eased export controls due to weak demand at home.

Molycorp, the biggest non-Chinese producer of rare earth elements used in products such as smartphones and tablets, on Wednesday said it plans to sell $200 million of its shares and $100 million in notes to fund capital expenditures this year.   Continued...