ERP Strategic Minerals LLC was chosen to bid for the purchase of the Mountain Pass Rare Earth Mine through bankruptcy proceedings, making it operational once again.
The company was announced to be the stalking horse bidder by the Chapter 11 trustee for Molycorp Minerals LLC, which operated the mine before it closed in 2015 due to low prices of rare earth minerals. Basically, it is selected as the first bidder to bid for the mine out of bankruptcy.
ERP said that it is collaborating with the Swiss company Pala Investments Limited and Australian firm Peak Resources Ltd. to bring the mine back to business. It stated:
“The consortium would provide financial, technical and operational support, to ERP for the restart and operation of the Mountain Pass mine, subject to applicable regulatory approvals and finalization and closing of mutually acceptable arrangements.”
The company also said that it is going to work with the County of San Bernardino, California (where the mine is located), regulatory bodies, and state agencies to complete the technical studies required for the revival of the mine. ERP CEO Tom Clarke said:
“Our goal is to return the Mountain Pass mine and mineral processing operation into a viable, sustainable and environmentally responsible business in the County of San Bernardino. We have a strong track record of restarting mines acquired out of US bankruptcy and Canadian CCAA situations. This is a complex venture which requires the skills of a reputable, high-quality team with best-in-class technical expertise in the mining sector.”
The Mountain Pass was the only rare earth mine operating in the US before it filed for bankruptcy.