October Site Visit: MP Materials’ Mountain Pass Mine and Processing Facilities in the U.S.
Bustling with contractors building out and wrapping up the Phase II works
Last month, Adamas Intelligence managing director, Ryan Castilloux, had the opportunity to revisit and tour MP Materials’ Mountain Pass mine and processing facilities located approximately 1-hour from Las Vegas, Nevada, on the California side of the Nevada – California border.
Despite the mine and concentrator being shut down for scheduled maintenance, the site was bustling with contractors building out and wrapping up the Phase II works that will transform MP Materials from miner-concentrator to the Western hemisphere’s largest oxide and chemical supplier.
The company’s light rare earth separation line is set up to produce 20,000 tonnes of TREO annually. With cerium rejected at the front-end, this capacity is sufficient to process all of MP’s current throughput and churn out upwards of 6,000 tonnes of NdPr oxide per annum.
Of key importance, we understand that the light rare earth separation line is loaded with rare earths in solution (a.k.a. huge working inventory) and mass balanced, which should help streamline the transition to oxide producer.
Another point of interest – and a point of pride for the company – is that around 95% of water used on site comes from recycled sources on site. All tailings are dewatered through stacks of giant filter bags and stored as dry powder – an environmentally favorable practice management was insistent on despite initial technical hurdles.
We will continue to follow MP’s advance to Phase II mechanical completion and commissioning with interest and look forward to visiting again as the transition to oxide and chemical producer ensues.
More Information: Rare Earth Magnet Market Outlook to 2035
In this report, we provide a detailed overview of the global NdFeB alloy, powder, magnet and magnet rare earth oxide markets, including a breakdown of historical production, consumption and prices from 2015 through 2021. Next, we unravel the anticipated near-term impacts of the pandemic recovery on world markets and forecast global supply, demand and prices from 2022 through 2035.
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