Arizona rare earths operation is first to run on U.S. minerals
A press release from Molycorp, Inc. today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Molycorp Minerals ("The Rare Earths Company"), has acquired Arizona-based Santoku America, Inc. "one of the leading producers of high-purity rare earth alloys and metals outside of China, in an all-cash deal for $17.5 million."
The company "will immediately begin sourcing rare earth feed stocks for production of its products from Molycorp's Mountain Pass, California rare earth mine and processing facility, making it the first rare earth metal and alloy producer in North America that is not dependent on rare earth materials sourced from China. Based in Tolleson, Arizona, the facility has been producing specialty alloys, including rare earth alloys, for more than 30 years."
Molycorp says the acquisition provides it with "the capability to immediately begin manufacturing and selling rare earth alloys for the production of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets (used in electric and hybrid cars, advanced wind energy turbines, and many high tech electronics and applications) and samarium cobalt (SmCo) magnets (used in defense and other applications), as well as a variety of other specialty alloys and products."
Analysts describe Molycorp's rapid evolution to a rare earths conglomerate, saying "the company has gone from owning a closed mine, to becoming a minerals processor on two continents armed with a strategic plan to build products from those minerals."