August 26, 2015 / 12:11 PM / 3 years ago

Molycorp to suspend production at Mountain Pass facility in California

Aug 26 (Reuters) - Rare earths supplier Molycorp Inc , which recently filed for bankruptcy protection, said it would suspend production at its flagship Mountain Pass facility in California by Oct. 20 due to a fall in prices.

The company, which is the only U.S. supplier of rare earths, said it will continue to supply rare earths from its other facilities in Estonia and China.

The Greenwood, Colorado-based company filed for bankruptcy protection in June.

Rare earths gained global attention in 2010, when China clamped down on exports. Sensing an opportunity, Molycorp started expanding its Mountain Pass rare earths mine in California. But China subsequently eased export rules, causing prices to fall.

Rare earths are used in a range of products from smartphones to military jet engines to hybrid vehicles. China controls roughly 90 percent of the world’s supply of rare earths.

Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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