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Molycorp Inc.
Traded as OTC Pink: MCPIQ
Industry Mining
Founded 2010
Headquarters Greenwood Village, Colorado, United States
Key people
Geoff Bedford, Chief Executive Officer
Michael F. Doolan, Chief Financial Officer
Products Rare earth elements
Slogan N/A

Molycorp Inc. is an American mining corporation headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado.[1] The corporation, which was formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange,[2] owned the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California. It filed for bankruptcy in June 2015 after changing competitive circumstances, declining prices on output and a 2014 restructuring.


The Molybdenum Corporation of America bought the Mountain Pass mining claims, and began production in 1952. The Molybdenum Corporation of America changed its name to Molycorp in 1974. The corporation was acquired by Union Oil in 1977, which in turn became part of Chevron Corporation in 2005. In 2008, Chevron sold the mine to privately held Molycorp Minerals LLC, and on July 29, 2010, Molycorp, Inc. became a publicly traded firm by selling 28,125,000 shares at $14 in its IPO. The shares trade under the ticker symbol MCP on the NYSE.

In June 2012, Molycorp acquired the Canadian-based company Neo Material Technologies Inc.[3]

Rare Earth Metals[edit]

Mountain Pass mine[edit]

The company’s principal asset is the Mountain Pass rare earth mine, which once supplied the majority of the world’s rare earth elements (REEs). The mine was previously owned by Unocal. The mine closed in 2002, but reopened in 2010, and in February 2012 the start-up of new rare earth manufacturing was to begin.[4][dated info]

The mine has attracted increased attention in recent years as rare earth elements had become increasingly in short supply.[5] China, the world’s leading supplier of REEs in 2010, had restricted production and exports since 2006.[6][dated info]

International business[edit]

In December 2010, Japanese firms Sumitomo and Mitsubishi signed agreements to be supplied with rare earths by Molycorp.[7] US-based fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalyst manufacturer W.R. Grace & Co. similarly signed a supply agreement with Molycorp in November 2010.[8] Molycorp was to supply W.R. Grace & Co. with an undisclosed amount of lanthanum and cerium, essential components for FCC catalyst manufacturing through 2015.[8]

Molycorp additionally owns one of the few processing plants outside China—Molycorp Silmet—that it had purchased in Estonia in 2011.[9]


In November 2012, the company announced that it was being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the accuracy of the Company’s public disclosures.[10] In June 2013, Molycorp Inc. said the SEC has completed the investigation and has not recommended any enforcement action.[11]

In December 2012, it was reported that the CEO, Mark Smith, had resigned and that the board, giving no reasons for the resignation, had replaced him with Constantine Karayannopoulos, the former vice chairman of the board, as interim CEO.[12][13]

In December 2013, Geoff Bedford, a 14-year rare-earth industry veteran and former Chief Operating Officer replaced Constantine Karayannopoulos as CEO of the company.[citation needed]


The "long-struggling" company filed for bankruptcy protection in late June 2015, the culmination of "one of the most dramatic commodities busts in recent years". It also at the same time announced an agreement "with major creditors to restructure its $1.70 billion debt load".[14] In 2014, with the company facing heavy capital needs and lower prices in the China-dominated market, Oaktree Capital Group had won the bidding to provide up to $400 million of senior restructuring finance. Apollo Global Management—which lost out in the 2014 bidding—and others held junior obligations at risk of substantial loss in the 2015 bankruptcy while Oaktree's $260 million high-interest-rate outstanding was considered relatively secure.[15]


  1. ^ Lee Spears and Kristen Scholer, “Molycorp, Enevest slash IPOs, Surgivision postpones,” Bloomberg, 29 July 2010.
  2. ^ Molycorp Inc. visits the NYSE, New York Stock Exchange.
  3. ^ Main, Carla (12 November 2012). "Libor Arrests, FSA Conflicts, Molycorp Probe: Compliance". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Molycorp To Launch Sequential Start-Up of New, State-of-the-Art Rare Earth Manufacturing Facility This Week", Molycorp Press Release, 21 February 2012
  5. ^ Keith Bradsher, “Challenging China in rare earth mining,” New York Times, 21 April 2010.
  6. ^ Michael Tsang and Lee Spears, “Molycorp’s IPO aims at Chinese grip on smart bombs,” Bloomberg Business Week, 28 July 2010.
  7. ^ Taro Koyano, "Firms eye U.S. rare earths / Sumitomo, Mitsubishi link with Molycorp to diversify from China," Daily Yomiuri Online, 20 December 2010.
  8. ^ a b Kaskey, Jack, "Molycorp to Supply Rare Earths to Grace for Catalysts",, November 5, 2010.
  9. ^ "Molycorp buys rare earth processor", AP,, April 4, 2011.
  10. ^ "Molycorp Issues Statement Regarding SEC Investigation". Molycorp. November 9, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ "SEC recommends no action against rare earths producer Molycorp = June 27, 2013". Reuters. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Molycorp leadership change step in right direction, say analysts". Reuters. December 12, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ Prior, Anna (12 December 2012). "Stocks to Watch: Molycorp, Eli Lilly, DuPont". The Wall Street Journal. 
  14. ^ Miller, John W., "Molycorp files for bankruptcy protection", MarketWatch, June 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  15. ^ Jarzemsky, Matt, "Molycorp Creditor Oaktree Scores With Savvy Move", Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-29.