Mark Smith, the chief executive of rare-earth mineral mining company Molycorp, was replaced today, a month after the company disclosed it was under a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation regarding the accuracy of its public disclosures.
Rare-earth minerals are key ingredients for mobile phones, as well as wind turbines, hybrid cars, and night-vision goggles. The vast majority of rare-earth minerals are mined in China. But Molycorp is one of a handful of Western companies hoping to elbow into that business. This summer, Smith gave CNET a tour of Molycorp's Mountain Pass, Calif., mine as part of a series on … Read more